Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Battle of Stonington
          An attack upon the town and a small fort of two guns, on the sea-board of Connecticut, by the Ramillies seventy-four gun ship, commanded by Sir Thomas Hardy; the Pactolus thirty-eight gun ship; Despatch brig, of twenty-two guns, and a razee, or bomb-ship—August, 1814

FOUR gallant ships from England came
Freighted deep with fire and flame,
And other things we need not name,
    To have a dash at Stonington.
Now safely moor’d, their work begun;        5
They thought to make the Yankees run,
And have a mighty deal of fun
    In stealing sheep at Stonington.
A deacon then popp’d up his head,
And parson Jones’s sermon read,        10
In which the reverend doctor said
    That they must fight for Stonington.
A townsman bade them, next, attend
To sundry resolutions penn’d,
By which they promised to defend        15
    With sword and gun, old Stonington.
The ships advancing different ways,
The Britons soon began to blaze,
And put the old women in amaze,
    Who fear’d the loss of Stonington.        20
The Yankees to their fort repair’d,
And made as though they little cared
For all that came—though very hard
    The cannon play’d on Stonington.
The Ramillies began the attack,        25
Despatch came forward—bold and black,
And none can tell what kept them back
    From setting fire to Stonington.
The bombadiers with bomb and ball,
Soon made a farmer’s barrack fall,        30
And did a cow-house sadly maul
    That stood a mile from Stonington.
They kill’d a goose, they kill’d a hen,
Three hogs they wounded in a pen—
They dash’d away—and pray what then?        35
    This was not taking Stonington.
The shells were thrown, the rockets flew,
But not a shell of all they threw,
Though every house was full in view,
    Could burn a house at Stonington.        40
To have their turn they thought but fair—
The Yankees brought two guns to bear,
And, sir, it would have made you stare,
    This smoke of smokes at Stonington.
They bored Pactolus through and through,        45
And kill’d and wounded of her crew
So many, that she bade adieu
    To the gallant boys of Stonington.
The brig Despatch was hull’d and torn—
So crippled, riddled, so forlorn,        50
No more she cast an eye of scorn
    On the little fort at Stonington.
The Ramillies gave up the affray
And, with her comrades, sneak’d away—
Such was the valour, on that day,        55
    Of British tars near Stonington.
But some assert, on certain grounds,
(Besides the damage and the wounds,)
It cost the king ten thousand pounds
    To have a dash at Stonington.        60

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