Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
Bold Hawthorne
 
Or, the cruise of the Fair American, commanded by Capt. Daniel Hawthorne 1

Written by the Surgeon of the Vessel

THE TWENTY-SECOND of August,
  Before the close of day,
All hands on board of our privateer,
  We got her under weigh;
We kept the Eastern Shore along,        5
  For forty leagues or more,
Then our departure took for sea,
  From the isle of Mauhegan shore.
 
Bold Hawthorne was commander,
  A man of real worth,        10
Old England’s cruel tyranny
  Induced him to go forth;
She, with relentless fury,
  Was plundering all our coast,
And thought, because her strength was great,        15
  Our glorious cause was lost.
 
Yet boast not, haughty Britons,
  Of power and dignity,
By land thy conquering armies,
  Thy matchless strength at sea;        20
Since taught by numerous instances
  Americans can fight,
With valour can equip their stand,
  Your armies put to flight.
 
Now farewell to fair America,        25
  Farewell our friends and wives;
We trust in Heaven’s peculiar care,
  For to protect their lives;
To prosper our intended cruise
  Upon the raging main,        30
And to preserve our dearest friends
  Till we return again.
 
The wind it being leading,
  It bore us on our way,
As far unto the southward        35
  As the Gulf of Florida;
Where we fell in with a British ship,
  Bound homeward from the main;
We gave her two bow-chasers,
  And she return’d the same.        40
 
We hauled up our courses,
  And so prepared for fight;
The contest held four glasses,
  Until the dusk of night;
Then having sprung our mainmast,        45
  And had so large a sea,
We dropp’d astern and left our chase
  Till the returning day.
 
Next morn we fish’d our mainmast,
  The ship still being nigh,        50
All hands made for engaging
  Our chance once more to try;
But wind and sea being boisterous
  Our cannon would not bear,
We thought it quite imprudent        55
  And so we left her there.
 
We cruised to the eastward,
  Near the coast of Portugal,
In longitude of twenty-seven
  We saw a lofty sail;        60
We gave her chase, and soon perceived
  She was a British snow
Standing for fair America,
  With troops for General Howe.
 
Our captain did inspect her        65
  With glasses, and he said,
“My boys, she means to fight us,
  But be you not afraid;
All hands repair to quarters,
  See every thing is clear,        70
We’ll give her a broadside, my boys,
  As soon as she comes near.”
 
She was prepared with nettings,
  And her men were well secured,
And bore directly for us,        75
  And put us close on board;
When the cannon roar’d like thunder,
  And the muskets fired amain,
But soon we were alongside
  And grappled to her chain.        80
 
And now the scene it alter’d,
  The cannon ceased to roar,
We fought with swords and boarding-pikes
  One glass or something more,
Till British pride and glory        85
  No longer dared to stay,
But cut the Yankee grapplings,
  And quickly bore away.
 
Our case was not so desperate
  As plainly might appear;        90
Yet sudden death did enter
  On board our privateer.
Mahoney, Crew, and Clemmons,
  The valiant and the brave,
Fell glorious in the contest,        95
  And met a watery grave.
 
Ten other men were wounded
  Among our warlike crew,
With them our noble captain, 2
  To whom all praise is due;        100
To him and all our officers,
  Let’s give a hearty cheer;
Success to fair America
  And our good privateer!
 
Note 1. This was the war song of the Salem privateersmen during the Revolution, and is copied from Rufus W. Griswold’s manuscript collection of “American Historical Ballads,” for which it was several years ago taken down by C. A. Andrews, Esq., from the mouths of the surviving shipmates of Hawthorne, who were accustomed to meet at the office of the Marine Insurance Company in Salem. [back]
Note 2. Hawthorne was wounded in the head by a musket ball. [back]
 
 
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