Verse > Anthologies > Francis T. Palgrave, ed. > The Golden Treasury
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Francis T. Palgrave, ed. (1824–1897). The Golden Treasury.  1875.
 
T. Campbell
 
CCVII. Battle of the Baltic
 
OF Nelson and the North 
Sing the glorious day's renown, 
When to battle fierce came forth 
All the might of Denmark's crown, 
And her arms along the deep proudly shone;         5
By each gun the lighted brand 
In a bold determined hand, 
And the Prince of all the land 
Led them on. 
  
Like leviathans afloat  10
Lay their bulwarks on the brine; 
While the sign of battle flew 
On the lofty British line: 
It was ten of April morn by the chime: 
As they drifted on their path  15
There was silence deep as death; 
And the boldest held his breath 
For a time. 
  
But the might of England flush'd 
To anticipate the scene;  20
And her van the fleeter rush'd 
O'er the deadly space between. 
"Hearts of oak!" our captains cried, when each gun 
From its adamantine lips 
Spread a death-shade round the ships,  25
Like the hurricane eclipse 
Of the sun. 
  
Again! again! again! 
And the havoc did not slack, 
Till a feeble cheer the Dane  30
To our cheering sent us back;— 
Their shots along the deep slowly boom:— 
Then ceased—and all is wail, 
As they strike the shatter'd sail; 
Or in conflagration pale  35
Light the gloom. 
  
Out spoke the victor then 
As he hail'd them o'er the wave, 
"Ye are brothers! ye are men! 
And we conquer but to save;  40
So peace instead of death let us bring 
But yield, proud foe, thy fleet 
With the crews, at England's feet, 
And make submission meet 
To our King."  45
  
Then Denmark bless'd our chief 
That he gave her wounds repose; 
And the sounds of joy and grief 
From her people wildly rose, 
As death withdrew his shades from the day:  50
While the sun look'd smiling bright 
O'er a wide and woeful sight, 
Where the fires of funeral light 
Died away. 
  
Now joy, old England, raise!  55
For the tidings of thy might, 
By the festal cities' blaze, 
Whilst the wine-cup shines in light; 
And yet amidst that joy and uproar, 
Let us think of them that sleep  60
Full many a fathom deep 
By thy wild and stormy steep, 
Elsinore! 
  
Brave hearts! to Britain's pride 
Once so faithful and so true,  65
On the deck of fame that died 
With the gallant good Riou: 
Soft sigh the winds of heaven o'er their grave 
While the billow mournful rolls 
And the mermaid's song condoles  70
Singing glory to the souls 
Of the brave! 
 
 
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