Verse > Anthologies > The World’s Best Poetry > Vol. VIII. National Spirit
Bliss Carman, et al., eds.  The World’s Best Poetry.
Volume VIII. National Spirit.  1904.
III. War
The Battle of Manila
Richard Hovey (1864–1900)
A Fragment
[May 1, 1898]

BY Cavité on the bay
’T was the Spanish squadron lay;
And the red dawn was creeping
O’er the city that lay sleeping
To the east, like a bride, in the May.        5
There was peace at Manila,
In the May morn at Manila,—
When ho, the Spanish admiral
Awoke to find our line
Had passed by gray Corregidor,        10
Had laughed at shoal and mine,
And flung to the sky its banners
With “Remember” for the sign!
With the ships of Spain before
In the shelter of the shore,        15
And the forts on the right,
They drew forward to the fight,
And the first was the gallant Commodore;
In the bay of Manila,
In the doomed bay of Manila—        20
With succor half the world away,
No port beneath that sky,
With nothing but their ships and guns
And Yankee pluck to try,
They had left retreat behind them,        25
They had come to win or die!
*        *        *        *        *
For we spoke at Manila,
We said it at Manila,
Or be ye brave, or be ye strong,
Ye build your ships in vain;        30
The children of the sea queen’s brood
Will not give up the main;
We hold the sea against the world
As we held it against Spain.
Be warned by Manila,        35
Take warning by Manila,
Ye may trade by land, ye may fight by land,
Ye may hold the land in fee;
But not go down to the sea in ships
To battle with the free;        40
For England and America
Will keep and hold the sea!

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