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.
 
January 28
Drake’s Drum
By Henry Newbolt (1862–1938)
 
          Sir Francis Drake was one of the great admirals of the Elizabethan age and like many of them was a Devonshire man. He early became a sailor and for over forty years followed the sea. He was a terror to the Spaniards, many of whose treasure ships he captured. He sailed around the world and finally died and was buried at sea, Jan. 28, 1596.

DRAKE he was a Devon man, an’ ruled the Devon seas,
  (Capten, art tha sleepin’ there below?)
Rovin’ tho’ his death fell, he went with heart at ease,
  An’ dreamin’ arl the time o’ Plymouth Hoe.
“Take my drum to England, hang et by the shore,        5
  Strike et when your powder’s runnin’ low:
If the Dons sight Devon, I’ll quit the port o’ Heaven,
  An’ drum them up the Channel as we drummed them long ago.”
 
Drake he’s in his hammock an’ a thousand miles away,
  (Capten, art tha sleepin’ there below?)        10
Slung atween the round shot in Nombre Dios Bay,
  An’ dreamin’ arl the time o’ Plymouth Hoe.
Yarnder lumes the island, yarnder lie the ships,
  Wi’ sailor lads a-dancin’ heel-an-toe,
An’ the shore lights flashin’, an’ the night tide dashin’,—        15
  He sees et arl so plainly as he saw et long ago.
 
Drake lies in his hammock till the great Armadas come,
  (Capten, art tha sleepin’ there below?)
Slung atween the round shot, listenin’ for the drum,
  An’ dreamin’ arl the time o’ Plymouth Hoe.        20
Call him on the deep sea, call him up the Sound,
  Call him when ye sail to meet the foe;
Where the old trade’s plyin’ an’ the old flag flyin’,
  They shall find him ware and wakin’, as they found him long ago.
 
 
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