Verse > Anthologies > James and Mary Ford, eds. > Every Day in the Year
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James and Mary Ford, eds.  Every Day in the Year.  1902.
 
May 1
Dewey in Manila Bay
By R. V. Risley (1874–1904)
 
HE took a thousand islands and he didn’t lose a man—
  (Raise your heads and cheer him as he goes!)
He licked the sneaky Spaniard till the fellow cut and ran,
  For fighting’s part of what a Yankee knows.
 
He fought ’em and he licked ’em, and he didn’t give a d——        5
  (It was only his profession for to win),
He sank their boats beneath ’em, and he spared ’em as they swam,
  And then he sent his ambulances in.
 
He had no word to cheer him and had no bands to play,
  He had no crowds to make his duty brave;        10
But he risked the deep torpedoes at the breaking of the day,
  For he knew he had our self-respect to save.
 
He flew the angry signal crying justice for the Maine,
  He flew it from his flagship as he fought.
He drove the tardy vengeance in the very teeth of Spain,        15
  And he did it just because he thought he ought.
 
He busted up their batteries, and sank eleven ships
  (He knew what he was doing, every bit);
He set the Maxims going like a hundred cracking whips,
  And every shot that crackled was a hit.        20
 
He broke ’em and he drove ’em, and he didn’t care at all,
  He only liked to do as he was bid;
He crumpled up their squadron and their batteries and all,—
  He knew he had to lick ’em, and he did.
 
And when the thing was finished and they flew the frightened flag,        25
  He slung his guns and sent his foot ashore,
And he gathered in their wounded, and he quite forgot to brag,
  For he thought he did his duty, nothing more.
 
Oh, he took a thousand islands and he didn’t lose a man—
  (Raise your heads and cheer him as he goes!)        30
He licked the sneaky Spaniard till the fellow cut and ran,
  For fighting’s part of what a Yankee knows!
 
 
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