University of Virginia Library


Proud, O proud in his oaken hall
The Admiral walks to-day,
From the top of his turreted citadel
French colors 'neath English play.—
Why skips the needle so frolic about,
Why danceth the ship so to-day?
Is it to think of those French Captains' swords
Surrendered when ended the fray?
O well may you skip, and well may you dance,
You dance on your homeward way;
O well may you skip and well may you dance
With homeward-bound victors to-day.


Like a baron bold from his mountain-hold,
At night looks the Admiral forth:
Heavy the clouds, and thick and dun,
They slant from the sullen North.
Catching at each little opening for life,
The moon in her wane swims forlorn;
Fades, fades mid the clouds her pinched paled face
Like the foeman's in seas sinking down.
Tack off from the land! And the watch below
Old England the oak-crownd to drink:—
Knock, knock, knock, the loud billows go,
Rapping “Bravo my boys!” ere they sink—
Knock, knock, knock, on the windward bow;
The Anvil-Head Whale you would think.
Tis Saturday night,—the last of the week,
The last of the week, month, and year—
On deck! shout it out, you forecastle-man,
Shout “Sail ho, Sail ho—the New Year!”
Drink, messmates, drink; tis sweet to think
Tis the last of the week, month, and year,
Then perils are past, and Old England at last,
Though now shunned, in the morn we will near;
We've beaten the foe, their ship blown below,
Their flags in St. Paul's Church we'll rear.


Knock, knock, knock, the loud billows go—
God! what's that shouting and roar?
Breakers!—close, close ahead and abeam:
She strikes—knock, knock—we're ashore!
Why went the needle so trembling about,
Why shook you, and trembled to-day?
Was it, perchance, that those French Captains' swords
In the arm-chest too near you lay?
Was it to think that those French Captains' swords,
Surendered, might yet win the day?
O woe for the brave no courage can save,
Woe, woe for the ship led astray.
High-beetling the rocks below which she shocks,
Her boats they are stove by her side,
Fated seas lick her round, as in flames she were bound,
Roar, roar like a furnace the tide.
O jagged the rocks, repeated she knocks,
Splits the hull like a cracked filbert there,
Her timbers are torn, and ground-up are thrown,
Float the small chips like filbert-bits there.
Pale, pale, but proud, 'neath the billows loud,
The Admiral sleeps to night;
Pale, pale, but proud, in his sea-weed shroud,—
The Admiral of the White:
And by their gun the dutiful ones,
Who had fought, bravely fought the good fight.