Verse > Anthologies > William McCarty, ed. > The American National Song Book
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William McCarty, comp.  The American National Song Book.  1842.
 
King George and “Old Ironsides”
 
A Squib—by Peter Quince

THE KING, God bless him, late at early morn,
Restored to sense, was seen to tread the lawn,
  Eager to learn the Constitution’s fate!
So says report—report sometimes will lie:
But reader, well thou know’st, full well as I,        5
  This ship has troubled much his royal pate.
 
When boasted Dacres, humbled by her power,
And the famed Java, in unlucky hour,
  Received her frown, and shrunk beneath the tide,
Cæsar grew pale at first, then raved, and swore        10
Neptune was base, and Amphitrite was more,
  Thus on the Yankee contests to decide.
 
Still “Ironsides” in safety rides the wave;
The king resolves his sinking fame to save;
  And many a ship is sent her course to trace,        15
Follow’d by squadrons, too, the sea to roam,
(The ponderous weight e’en makes old ocean groan,)
  To give the single Constitution chase!
 
The fleet returns—thus George, with sparkling eyes:
“Hey! hey! what news? what news? hey! hey!” he cries;        20
  His majesty to hear was all agog;
When Stuart—Collier—Kerr 1—with crimson’d face,
Thus spake—“We gave the Constitution chase,
  And, ah! great sire, we lost her in a fog!”
 
“Fog! fog! what fog? hey, Stuart, what fog? say:        25
So then the foe escaped you, Stuart, hey?”
  “Yes, please your majesty, and hard our fate”—
“But why not, Stuart, different courses steer?”
Stuart replied, (impute it not to fear,)
  “We thought it prudent not to separate.”        30
 
Note 1. Commanders of the Newcastle, Leander, and Acasta, the squadron that pursued the Constitution. [back]
 
 
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