Abbildungen der Seite

The nation's life and honour bore,
The safety of their native shore,
And new-born freedom which at length,
Had dared to meet the giant strength

Of ancient tyranny and wrong.
Then the loud roar of battle

Awoke the warlike flame,
Which dwells in every English heart,

And men of noble name
Manned their swift ships and merrily

Came to our help across the sea ;
But the best help our brethren brought,
Was the great soul-strengthening thought
That all the hearts of England

Were with us as we strove ;
That all we prized were watching there,
With pride, and hope, and earnest prayer,

And a great nation's love.
At last, in Calais Haven

The Spaniards' anchors fell,
And two days we lay and watched them

Inactive on the swell;
For force a fight we could not,

They lay so close to land,
And that shallow bay is dangerous

With its shifting shoals of sand.
But our dread grew great lest Parma

Should come out with his host, And joining with the Golden Duke,*

Swoop down upon our coast. So on the Sabbath afternoon We hastened at the set of sun, To get eight fireships ready

For use by dead of night,


* Duke of Medina Sidonia.


That we might drive them from the bay,
And as they fled, begin the fray

With morning's earliest light.
As it drew on towards the midnight,

The sky grew dark with clouds,
The sea-swell sobbed, the rising wind

Moaned sadly through the shrouds; And far down in the west-ward

We heard the Autumn gale,
Which soon would try the utmost strength

Of Spanish mast and sail.
Now through the stealthy darkness,

The night wind as it sighed
Bore down unseen the fireships

Upon the setting tide; Sudden a fierce and lurid glare Lit

up afar the sea and air, Flooded with crimson every sail, And made the blackness of the gale

More dreadful, deep, and fell.
As the eight ships went staggering down,
We heard above the wild wind's moan,

The Spanish Captain's bell.
A gun was fired, and by the light
We watched the panic and the flight;

Stern Drake was with me on the deck,
The red light shone upon his cheek,
And a glad smile sat in his eyes,
As o'er the water came the cries,
While in their terror and dismay,
To 'scape the dangers of the day,
We saw them slip their cables

And driven on by fear,
Once more into the open sea

In wild confusion steer.
We weighed with earliest daybreak,

And pressed upon their track, Lest to regain his anchorage

The duke might struggle back; But higher, stronger rose the wind, With storm and strength of foes behind,

Hope of return was vain; On through the unknown North Sea's gates, On through the narrow, frowning straits

Rolled the great fleet of Spain.
Off Gravelines we o’ertook them,

And then such strife began
As that age of battles had not seen

Nor memory of man.
We kept them well to lee-ward,

And as the strong wind blew,
We swept along their quarter

While fast our great shot flew.
Bold Winter on the centre,

And Seymour on the right
Bore down the ships with steady ire
Before a ceaseless, crushing fire,
And deeper, deadlier, wilder, higher,

Rolled on the storm and fight.
The roar of cannon, and the crash,
As reeling from our broadsides' shock
The crowded ships each other struck ;
Our ringing cheers as swift and well
The deadly hail of battle fell ;
The hoarse cries of the enemy,
As helpless in the dark wild sea,

Their broken ships went down,
Blent with the rush of wind and wave
So the dread fight such horror gave

As war had never known. As the huge bison, when at length The deep wounds sap his mighty strength

And the fleet hounds athirst for blood,
Hang on his flank through brake and flood,
Turns in mad fury to oppose
The onset of his eager foes,
So turned that giant armament,
With tempest and with battle rent,

By one last effort to regain
The waning odds of desperate strife,

And cast the shattered strength of Spain
No more for victory now, but life.
In vain ! in vain ! the battle 's lost,

Freedom's triumphant o'er her foe, And see, upon the Flemish coast

In headlong rout they're driven now; The wind sweeps round, they slowly clear

The treacherous shoals, the riven sail They spread to catch the blast, in fear

More of the battle than the gale. Northward toiled the straining ships

Through the deep valleys of the sea, While our fleet upon their weather-beam

Pursued unweariedly.
Stronger blows the tempest,

And higher rolls the wave,
And filled with fear they wait not now

Their shipwrecked mates to save ;
And we who erst were direst foes,

Rescued their sailors as we passed, Who dropped astern as their comrades fled

Northward 'fore the driving blast.
Thus toiled the remnant of that host
Round Scotland's stern and rugged coast,

In the long reach to Spain.
And few of those whose hearts beat high
When they embarked in warlike joy,
While deeper gladness dimmed their eye,

Ever saw home again.
Spain's tyrant power shall fade and fall,

Her wealth, her prowess shall decay,
But ours shall be the mightiness

Which ne'er shall pass away.
For all the coming ages

This England's power shall know,
And in the light of future might

Her name and valour glow.
Her hand shall grasp the sceptre

That rules the heaving wave;
And on her land shall never stand

A tyrant or a slave.
In the great world's wide continents

By foot of man untrod,
New nations from her sons shall rise
To conquer earth, and seek the skies,

And hold the truth of God.
From the east empurpled by the sun,

To the soft and glowing west,
All climes her power shall wait upon,

On all her blessing rest.


Go, little story, written all for love,

Quaint memory, and comfortable mirth;
The truth of boyhood's dream the man doth prove,

Take it, oh reader, then for what it's worth.

War has been sung and praised in every age,

From grand old Homer to the last “Gazette; Arms and the man ” upon the Roman's page

Bear off the palm from husbandry ; the debt

« ZurückWeiter »