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So, hearing that most of you rebels were dead,
And over we scudded, our hearts full of glee,
Our shoe-boys, and tars, and the very cook's mate
Myself, the Don Quixote, and each of the crew,
But now, to our sorrow, disgrace, and surprise,
I have therefore to make you a modest request
There are Eden, and Martin, and Franklin and Tryon,
Though a brute and a dunce, like the rest of the clan,
I missed it somehow in comparing my notes,
Although with so many hard names I was branded,
Give me lands, . . . . and dice, and you still
be free; Let who will be master, we sha'n't disagree; If King or if Congress—no matter to me.
I hope you will send me an answer straightway,
* The Printer of the Royal Gazette.
[The Poems of Philip Freneau. 1786.—Poems Written During the Revolutionary War,
etc. 3d Ed. 1809.]
Their limbs with dust are covered o'er;
How many heroes are no more!
If in this wreck of ruin, they
Can yet be thought to claim a tear,
The friends or freedom slumber here!
Thou, who shalt trace this bloody plain,
If goodness rules thy generous breast,
Sigh for the shepherds sunk to rest!
Stranger, their humble groves adorn;
You too may fall, and ask a tear: 'Tis not the beauty of the morn
That proves the evening shall be clear.
They saw their injured country's woe,
The flaming town, the wasted field;
They took the spear—but left the shield.
Led by thy conquering standards, Greene,
The Britons they compelled to fly:
None grieved in such a cause to die
But, like the Parthian, famed of old,
Who, flying, still their arrows threw,
Retreated, and retreating slew.
Now rest in peace, our patriot band;
Though far from nature's limits thrown,
A brighter Phæbus of their own.
This is a proud English cruiser,
Roving up and down the main, We must fight her-must reduce her,
Though our decks be strewed with slain.
“Let who will be the survivor,
We must conquer or must die, We must take her up the river,
Whate'er comes of you or I: Though she shows most formidable
With her eighteen pointed nines, And her quarters clad in sable,
Let us bauk her proud designs.
“With four nine-pounders and twelve sixes,
We will face that daring band; Let no dangers damp your courage,
Nothing can the brave withstand. Fighting for your country's honor,
Now to gallant deeds aspire; Helmsman, bear us down upon her,
Gunner, give the word to fire!"
Then yard-arm and yard-arm meeting,
Straight began the dismal fray, Cannon mouths, each other greeting,
Belched their smoky flames away; Soon the langrage, grape and chain-shot,
That from Barney's cannons flew, Swept the Monk, and cleared each round-top,
Killed and wounded half her crew.
Captain Rogers strove to rally
His men from their quarters fled, While the roaring Hyder Ally
Covered o'er his decks with dead. When from their tops their dead men tumbled,
And the streams of blood did flow, Then their proudest hopes were humbled
By their brave inferior foe.
All aghast, and all confounded,
They beheld their champions fall, And their captain, sorely wounded,
Bade them quick for quarter call. Then the Monk's proud flag descended,
And her cannon ceased to roar; By her crew no more defended,
She confessed the contest o'er.
Come, brave boys, and fill your glasses,
You have humbled one proud foe,
Fame shall tell the nations so.
Thus abridged her cruel reign,
Yields the sceptre of the main.
ON A TRAVELLING SPECULATOR.
The soldier's curse pursued him on his way;
He seemed a sea-hawk watching for his prey.
With soothing words the widow's mite he gained,
With piercing glance watched misery's dark abode, Filched paper scraps while yet a scrap remained,
Bought where he must, and cheated where he could.
Vast loads amassed of scrip, and who knows what;
Potosi's wealth seemed lodged within his clutch, But wealth has wings (he knew) and instant bought
The prancing steed, gay harness, and gilt coach.
One Sunday morn, to church we saw him ride
In glittering state-alack! and who but he
To routs they drove-and drank Imperial tea!
In cards and fun the livelong day they spent,
With songs and smut prolonged the midnight feast, If plays were had, to plays they constant went,
Where Madam's top-kpot rose a foot at least.
Three weeks, and more, thus passed in airs of state,
The fourth beheld the mighty bubble fail, -
Stopped short-and closed his triumphs in a jail.