Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > The Book of Georgian Verse
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed.  The Book of Georgian Verse.  1909.
 
The Arethusa
By Prince Hoare (1755–1834)
 
COME, all ye jolly sailors bold,
Whose hearts are cast in honour’s mould,
While English glory I unfold,
    Huzza for the Arethusa!
She is a frigate tight and brave,        5
As ever stemmed the dashing wave;
    Her men are staunch
    To their fav’rite launch,
And when the foe shall meet our fire,
Sooner than strike, we’ll all expire        10
    On board of the Arethusa.
 
’Twas with the spring fleet she went out
The English Channel to cruise about,
When four French sail, in show so stout
    Bore down on the Arethusa.        15
The famed Belle Poule straight ahead did lie,
The Arethusa seemed to fly,
    Not a sheet, or a tack,
    Or a brace, did she slack;
Though the Frenchmen laughed and thought it stuff,        20
But they knew not the handful of men, how tough,
    On board of the Arethusa.
 
On deck five hundred men did dance,
The stoutest they could find in France;
We, with two hundred did advance        25
    On board of the Arethusa.
Our captain hailed the Frenchman, ‘Ho!’
The Frenchman then cried out ‘Hallo!’
    ‘Bear down, d’ye see,
    To our Admiral’s lee!’        30
‘No, no,’ says the Frenchman, ‘that can’t be!’
‘Then I must lug you along with me,’
    Says the saucy Arethusa.
 
The fight was off the Frenchman’s land,
We forced them back upon their strand,        35
For we fought till not a stick could stand
    Of the gallant Arethusa.
And now we’ve driven the foe ashore
Never to fight with Britons more,
    Let each fill his glass        40
    To his fav’rite lass;
A health to our captain and officers true,
And all that belong to the jovial crew
    On board of the Arethusa.
 
 
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