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SIR RICHARD GRENVILLE'S LAST

SEA-FIGHT.

Great is the joy in Plymouth Sound,
Admiral Howard's westward bound

To sail the Spanish Main;
Good luck betide him on the foam,
And may our gallant lads bring home

The treasure fleet of Spain.

With twelve tall ships equipped for fight,
Well stored with victual, manned with might

Of English heart and hand,
Tried by battle, storm, and cold,
Both in the New World and the Old,

On water and on land.

Brave Devon lads from Tamar's side,
And tower-crowned Exe, whose waters glide

Beside old Roman graves ;
And that rough coast where Lundy's isle
Watches the western sunset smile

Upon the dancing waves.

And Cornish seamen rude and bold,
From Falmouth Bay, and Penzance old,
Born amid tempest, rocked by storm
Where the Land's End's stupendous form

Breaks the Atlantic swell;

Where it is said in caverns hoar,
Lulled by the waves' unceasing roar,
Old giants sleep above the shore,

As ancient legends tell.

.In vain we searched the ocean round,
No Spanish treasure fleet we found,

But sore with sickness wasted ;
We anchored 'neath the Isle of Florez
And ʼmid the soft and sweet Azores

We lay in wait and rested.

Vigilant both by night and day,
Keen as the swift hawks for their prey,

We longed and watched and waited,
But no sails flecked the ocean's rim,
Our faith died out, our hope grew dim,
Because no Spanish vessel came

With gold and silver freighted.

But in the crimson dawning
Of a lovely August morning

We heard the look-out's hail ;
And on the sunlit main
We saw the fleet of Spain
Bearing up to give us battle before the morning gale.
Then coward thoughts prevailed,
And

every ship was hailed
And bid to put to sea ;
Lord Howard led the way,
And after him from out the bay,

Eleven ships sailed sullenly.
We brought our sick aboard,
Our goods and water stored,
Then at Sir Richard's word

We weighed anchor and sailed forth

With the great fleet of the foe
Closing on our weather bow,

To intercept and capture the lone one of the North.

For through the offing, one by one,
Proudly the Spanish ships came on,
And on the decks beneath the sun

We saw the flash of steel;
Their huge sails to the breeze were spread,
And streamed the flag from each masthead

Of Leon and Castile.

“Cut the mainsail, Sir Richard,

And give the Dons the slip,
Little of the gift of speed have they,
The chase would wear the light away,
Cast about and trust to-day

The sailing of thy ship."

Sir Richard laughed with courage stout,
“I'll cut my sail and cast about,

When they can turn me back;
Shall it be said that Englishmen
Ever ran before the ships of Spain ?
They're fifty to one, but we'll hold our own,
And break out through them, or go down,

Right in our homeward track."

And so ran on our bit of right sound English stuff, And the foremost of the squadron when they met us sprang their luff

And fell beneath our lee, Till the huge high-carged San Philip, Of full fifteen hundred tons, Took the wind out of our sails and o'erhung us with his guns, And we swung round for battle to win our right of way.

From the giant oaken hulk,
Heaving in its mountain-bulk,

Came a joyous Spanish cry.
“Ha, we have you, English dogs,
Now, yield you, Lutheran rogues !”

And our broadsides made reply; Through the hull the great shot tore, And above the cannon-roar

Rose our English battle-cry,

“Fight this day, ye men of Devon, For England, Queen and Heaven ! ”

Afar its echoes pealed, And ere it died our bolts again Crashed through the wooden walls of Spain, And with the shock upon the main

The vessels rocked and reeled.

Then they closed on every side
In their anger and their pride,

And fierce their war-cry rung,
And two tall ships their broadsides poured,
Our timbers groaned, our decks were gored,
Our mainmast broke off by the board,

And o'er the bulwarks hung.

The smoke rose slowly on the blast,
The death shots pelted thick and fast,
As with our axes from the mast

We strove the ship to clear;
The decks grew slippery soon with blood,
And mangled men 'mid splintered wood,

Lay scattered everywhere.

We toiled and strove with desperate strength A short but dreadful time, at length

We eased the ship again,

Then to the fight with fiercer ire,
In one continuous stream our fire
Swept like an iron tempest dire

Into the fleet of Spain.
While we were thus entangled with the mighty Spanish ship,
Four other galleons boarded us to help the “San Philip.”
From larboard and from starboard whizzed the deadly drift of

shot. And the roar and rage of battle waxed grim, and fierce, and hot;

No time for war-cries now;
With the black sweat on our brow,
And the blood-gouts on our clothes,

We hurled into the sea whole regiments of our foes.
With musket-butt and pike, with cutlass and with sword,
We beat them back like sheep whene'er they tried to board.

Then we gave a mighty cheer in our honest English pride,
And poured a deadly volley on our foes on either side,

And the welkin rang again

With the wail and curse of Spain,
With the crashing of their spars and the rending of their hulls.
Like a wounded lion fighting with a savage herd of bulls,
Our valiant little vessel kept the giant fleet at bay,
Had the rest been there to help us we had surely won the day.

All through the summer afternoon
Thus raged the battle, till the sun
Setting, peered through the smoke clouds dun,

Yet still we held our own;
Ere twilight deepened into night
Two Spanish vessels on our right

Into the sea went down.

scene

The stars came out on such As they had ne'er beheld, I ween, în all the battles that have been

On ocean or on shore,

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