Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
The Lady Washington
COME, all ye bold Northwestmen,
  Who plough the raging main,
Come listen to my story
  While I relate the same;
’Twas of the Lady Washington,        5
  Decoyed as she lay
At Queen Charlotte’s Island,
  In North America.
On the sixteenth day of June, boys,
  In the year of ninety-one,        10
The natives in great numbers
  On board our ship did come;
Then for to buy our fur of them
  Our captain did begin,
But mark what they attempted        15
  Before long time had been.
Abaft upon our quarter-deck,
  Two stout arm-chests did stand,
And in both of them were left the keys,
  By the gunner’s careless hand;        20
Which quickly they procuring,
  Of them did make a prize,
Thinking we had no other arms
  For to defend our lives.
Our captain spoke unto them,        25
  And unto them did say,
“If you’ll return me back those keys
  I for the same will pay;”
No sooner had he spoke these words,
  Than they drew forth their knives,        30
Saying, “The vessel’s ours, sir,
  And we will have your lives.”
Our captain then perceiving
  The ship was in their hands,
Upon the men and officers        35
  Laid quickly his commands:
“Go down into the cabin,
  And there some arms prepare,
See that they are well loaded,
  Be sure, and don’t miss fire.”        40
Then down into the cabin,
  Straightway we did repair,
And to our sad misfortune
  Few guns could we find there;
We only found six pistols,        45
  Two small swords, and a gun,
And “Blow her up,” we soon agreed
  Was all that could be done.
Our powder we got ready,
  And our gun-room open laid;        50
Our souls we did commit to God,—
  A hurried prayer we pray’d,—
We then inform’d our captain,
  Saying, “Ready now are we.”
He says, “A signal I will give,        55
  It shall be ‘Follow me.’”
All this time upon the quarter-deck
  Each man was forced to stand,
With twelve of these cursed savages
  With knives in every hand,        60
Till one of these blood-thirsty hounds,
  He made a spring below,
Then cried the captain, “Follow me,”
  And with him we did go.
And with what few firearms we had,        65
  We rush’d on deck amain,
And by our being resolute,
  Our quarter-deck did gain;
Soon as we reach’d our arm-chest,
  Such slaughter there made we,        70
That in less than ten minutes
  Our ship of them was free.
Then we threw overboard the dead,
  That on our deck there lay;
And finding we’d nobody hurt,        75
  To work we went straightway.
The number kill’d upon our deck,
  That day, was sixty good,
And full as many wounded,
  As soon we understood.        80
’Twas early the next morning,
  At the hour of break of day,
We sail’d along abreast the town,
  Which we came to straightway;
We call’d all hands to quarters,        85
  And at the town did play,
Till we made them return the things
  They’d stole from us that day.
I’d have you all take warning,
  And always ready be        90
For to suppress those savages
  Of Northwest America;
For they are so desirous
  Some vessel for to gain,
That they will never leave it off        95
  Till most of them are slain.
And now unto old China,
  We’re fastly rolling on,
Where we shall drink good punch, for which
  We’ve suffer’d all along.        100
And when the sixteenth day of June,
  Around does yearly come,
We’ll drink in celebration
  Of what that day was done.
And now for to conclude,        105
  And make end unto my song,
Success to the commander
  Of the Lady Washington!
Success unto his voyages,
  Wherever he may go;        110
O may death and dire destruction
  Always attend his foe!

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