Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
Naval Chronicle

IN chorus now join, while my hobby I sing:
’Tis the deeds of our tars that have made the world ring;
For is it not true, where their flag is unfurl’d,
Its stars have beam’d glory to dazzle the world?
First Dacres, who thought he the Yankees would scare,        5
Proudly wrote on his sail, “I’m the famed Guerriere,”
Says Hull, “Are you there?” so together they pull’d,
In forty-five minutes the Guerriere was Hull’d!
Next Jones, in the Wasp, with long sting in her tail,
Cried, “Luff up, my boys, ’tis an enemy’s sail;”        10
Soon he came alongside—when the short work was done,
He gave them a Frolic as sure as a gun.
Then the dauntless Decatur, that warrior of might
The mad Macedonian encounter’d in fight;
When he who had blubber’d for worlds to subdue,        15
Soon found a new world that his business could do.
See the firm Constitution, our Washington’s pride,
With Bainbridge at helm, in true majesty ride,
Pour a stream from her side, like Vesuvius’ red lava,
That quite overwhelm’d the whole island of Java.        20
Now Burrows the valiant, of bold Enterprise,
His skill with a true English Boxer he tries:
Though he’d ne’er learn’d the art from Mendozas or Cribbs,
He pounded so hard that he broke all her ribs.
Then a Peacock was strutting about in his pride,        25
When a Hornet like lightning stuck close in his side,
And stung him so sore that from battle he turn’d:
Noble Lawrence that Peacock in ocean inurn’d.
From its ashes a Phœnix old Neptune soon rear’d,
And though called a Peacock, a new bird appear’d,        30
Who, quick to his own and brave Warrington’s fame,
Made prize of a Hawk 1 with a Frenchified name.
And now we’ve a Wasp of such wonderful force,
As Blakely can tell, e’en to stop rivers’ course,
Since the Avon no longer can glide to the sea,        35
And she seized on a Reindeer and made him her prey.
Wing’d Hermes, 2 the light-finger’d god of the Greeks,
Seized the trident of Neptune, in one of his freaks,
A land-lubber, at Mobile, his godhead defies,
And blew Mr. Mercury back to his skies.        40
And now should I sing of the fight of Champlain,
And with Erie’s bold heroes ennoble my strain,
But though they the British fleets soundly did drub,
Yet the tale of a lake’s like the Tale of a Tub.
From Britons I’d take not the praise that’s their due,        45
For bravely they fight, aye and skilfully too;
But Greek meeting Greek, comes the hard tug of war,
Though Yankees soon prove the best Grecians by far.
Though Valour her temple has form’d in the breast
Of each native tar, yet the pride of his crest        50
Is the fair star of Mercy, that shines ever bright,
To cheer the lorn captive subdued in the fight.
But hold, should I sing ev’ry hero of fight,
My song would prevent you from drinking all night;
Then fill ev’ry glass to the true sons of Mars,        55
The heroes of ocean, Columbia’s brave tars.
Note 1. L’Epervier, i.e., sparrow-hawk. [back]
Note 2. The Hermes, Captain Percy, was blown up near Fort Boyer, in the Mobile. [back]

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