Verse > Anthologies > Harvard Classics > English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald
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   English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
314. Loss of the Royal George
 
William Cowper (1731–1800)
 
 
TOLL for the Brave!
The brave that are no more!
All sunk beneath the wave
Fast by their native shore!
 
Eight hundred of the brave        5
Whose courage well was tried,
Had made the vessel heel
And laid her on her side.
 
A land-breeze shook the shrouds
And she was overset;        10
Down went the Royal George,
With all her crew complete.
 
Toll for the brave!
Brave Kempenfelt is gone;
His last sea-fight is fought,        15
His work of glory done.
 
It was not in the battle;
No tempest gave the shock;
She sprang no fatal leak,
She ran upon no rock.        20
 
His sword was in its sheath,
His fingers held the pen,
When Kempenfelt went down
With twice four hundred men.
 
Weigh the vessel up        25
Once dreaded by our foes!
And mingle with our cup
The tears that England owes.
 
Her timbers yet are sound,
And she may float again        30
Full charged with England’s thunder,
And plough the distant main:
 
But Kempenfelt is gone,
His victories are o’er;
And he and his eight hundred        35
Shall plough the wave no more.
 

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