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[Young Casabianca, a boy about thirteen years old, son of the Ad: An, yes, the fight! Well, messmates, well, miral of the Orient, remained at his post (in the Battle of the Nile)
I served on board that Ninety-eight; after the ship had taken fire and all the guns had been abandoned, and perished in the explosion of the vessel, when the flames had Yet what I saw I loathe to tell. reached the powder.]
To-night be sure a crushing weight The boy stood on the burning deck,
Upon my sleeping breast, a hell Whence all but him had fled ;
Of dread, will sit. At any rate, The flame that lit the battle's wreck
Though land-locked here, a watch I'll keep, – Shone round him o'er the dead.
Grog cheers us still. Who cares for sleep?
The timbers with the broadsides strain ;
The slippery decks send up a steam From hot and living blood, and high And shrill is lieard the death-pang cry.
The shredded limb, the splintered bone,
The unstiffened corpse, now block the way! Who now can hear the dying groan ?
The trumpet of the judgment-day, Had it pealed forth its mighty tone,
We should not then have heard, - to say Would be rank sin ; but this I tell, That could alone our madness quell.
Upon the forecastle I fought
As captain of the for’ad gun.
What mother then had known her son Of those who stood around ? — distraught,
And smeared with gore, about they run, Then fall, and writhe, and howling die ! But one escaped, – that one was I !
The blessed tear was on my cheek,
She smiled with that old smile I know: “Turn to me, mother, turn and speak,
Was on my quivering lips, when lo!
Glared wild and vivid from the foe,
All burning, helplessly, she came,
Had we to help us from that flame. 'T was then the bravest stood aghast,
'T was then the wicked, on the name (With danger and with guilt appalled) Of God, too long neglected, called. The eddying flames with ravening tongue
Now on our ship's dark bulwarks dash, We almost touched, — when ocean rung
Down to its depths with one loud crash! In heaven's top vault one instant hung
The vast, intense, and blinding flash! Then all was darkness, stillness, dread, The wave moaned o'er the valiant dead. She's gone ! blown up! that gallant foe!
And though she left us in a plight, We floated still ; long were, I know,
And hard, the labors of that night
A frigate took us, when 't was light;
I like not of that fight to tell.
Messmates, I've done. A spell, ho! spell, – Though a pressed man, I'll still be found
To do a seaman's duty well.
Night darkened round, and the storm pealed;
To windward of us lay the foe.
He could not fight his guns below;
Our vessel, as if some vast blow
Then howled the thunder. Tumult then
Had stunned herself to silence. Round Were scattered lightning-blasted men !
Our mainmast went. All stifled, drowned, Arose the Frenchman's shout. Again
The bolt burst on us, and we found
Man's war mocks faintly that of heaven!
Just then, — nay, messmates, laugh not now,
As I, amazel, one minute stood Amidst that rout, — I know not how,
'T was silence all, — the raving food, The guns that pealed from stem to low,
And God's own thuniler, -- nothing could I then of all that tumult hcar,
Or sec aught of that scene of fear,
THE SAILOR'S WIFE.
My ageal mother at her door
Sat mililly o'er her humming wheel ; The cottage, orchard, and the moor,
I saw them plainly all. I'll kneel, And swear I saw them! O, they wore
A look all peace ? Could I but feel Agnin that bliss that then I felt, That made my heart, like childhood's, melt !
And are ye sure the news is true ?
And are ye sure he's weel? Is this a time to think o' wark !
Ye jades, lay by your wheel, Is this the time to spin a thread,
When Colin's at the door ? Reach down my cloak, I 'll to the quay,
And see him come ashore.
There 's nac luck at a';
When our gudeman 's awa'.
And gie to me my bigonet,
My bishop's satin gown ; For I maun tell the baillie's wife
That Colin 's in the town. My Turkey slippers maun gae on,
My stockin's pearly blue ; It 's a' to pleasure our gudeman,
For he's baith leal and true.
We all know Sir Sidney, a man of such kidney,
Thus he took, every day, all that came in his way,
His captors, right glad of the prize they now had,
Rise, lass, and mak a clean fireside,
Put on the muckle pot ;
And Jock his Sunday coat ;
Their hose as white as snaw; It's a' to please my ain gudeman,
For he's been long awa'. There's twa fat hens upo' the coop
Been fed this month and mair ;
That Colin weel may fare ;
Gar ilka thing look braw,
When he was far awa'?
So Sir Sid got away, and his jailer next day
If Sir Sidney was wrong, why then black ball my
song, E'en his foes he would scorn to deceive; His escape was but just, and confess it you must, For it only was taking French leave, you know, It only was taking French leave.
NAPOLEON AND THE BRITISH SAILOR.
Sae true his heart, sae smooth his speech,
His breath like caller air ; His very foot has music in 't
As he comes up the stair,
And will I hear him speak ?
In troth I 'm like to greet !
I hae nae mair to crave :
I'm blest aboon the lave :
And will I hear him speak ?
In troth I 'm like to greet.
There 's nae luck at a';
W. J. MICKLE.
I LOVE contemplating - apart
From all his homicidal glory The traits that soften to our heart
'T was when his banners at Boulogne
Armed in our island every freeman, His navy chanced to capture one
Poor British seaman.
They suffered him I know not how
Unprisoned on the shore to roam ; And aye was bent his longing brow
On England's home.
SIR SIDNEY SMITH.
His eye, methinks ! pursued the flight
Of birds to Britain half-way over ; With envy they could reach the white
Dear cliffs of Dover.
GENTLEFOLKS, in my time, I've made many a
rhyme, But the song I now trouble you with, Lays some claim to applause, and you 'll grant
it, because The subject 's Sir Sidney Smith, it is ; The subject 's Sir Sidney Smith.
A stormy midnight watch, he thought,
Than this sojourn would have been dearer, If but the storin his vessel brought
To England nearer.
HOW'S MY BOY !
“Ho, sailor of the sea ! How's my boy – my boy ?" “What's your boy's name, good wife, And in what ship sailed he ?"
“My boy John
“You come back from sea,
“How's my boy — my boy?
“And why should I speak low, sailor, About my own boy John ? If I was loud as I am proud I'd sing him over the town ! Why should I speak low, sailor ?” “That good ship went down."
“How 's my boy — my boy?
Every man on board went down, Every man aboard her."
At last, when care had banished sleep,
He saw onę morning, dreaming, doting, An empty hogshead from the deep
Come shoreward floating ;
He hid it in a cave, and wrought
The live-long day laborious ; lurking
By mighty working
Description wretched ; such a wherry
Or crossed a ferry.
For ploughing in the salt-sea field,
It would have made the boldest shudder; Untarred, uncompassed, and unkeeled,
No sail, no rudder.
From neighboring woods he interlaced
His sorry skiff with wattled willows; And thus equipped he would have passed
The foaming billows,
But Frenchmen caught him on the beach,
His little Argus sorely jeering ;
Serene alike in peace and danger ;
Addressed the stranger :
“Rash man, that wouldst
pass On twigs and staves so rudely fashioned, Thy heart with some sweet British lass
Must be impassioned.” “I have no sweetheart," said the lad;
But – absent long from one another Great was the longing that I had
To see my mother.” “And so thou shalt,” Napoleon said,
• Ye've both my favor fairly won ; A noble mother must have bred
So brave a son.”
He gave the tar a piece of gold,
And, with a flag of truce, commanded He should be shipped to England Old,
And safely landed.
Our sailor oft could scantly shift
To find a dinner, plain and hearty, But never changed the coin and gift Of Bonaparté.