ON THE FRIGATE CONSTITUTION

 

 

††††††† Thus launch'd at length upon the main

†††† And soon prepar'd the seas to roam,

††††††† In your capacious breast ere long

†††† Will many an idler find a home

††††††† That sells his freedom for a song,

††††††††††† Quits fields and trees

††††††††††† For boisterous seas,

††††††† To tread his native soil no more,

††††††† And see ‑‑ but not possess the shore.

 

†††† Well! let them go ‑‑ can there be loss

††††††† In those whose nature's bounty slight,

†††† From rural vales and freedom's shades

††††††† To this dull cage who take their flight,

††††††††††† The axe, the hoe,

††††††††††† The plow forego,

††††††† The buxom milk‑maid's simple treat,

††††††† The bliss of country's life forget,

††††††††††† For tumult here

††††††††††† And toil severe,

††††††† A gun their pillow when they sleep,

††††††† And when they wake, are wak'd to weep.

 

†††† Dick Brothers said, "The time will come,

††††††† "When war no more shall prowl the sea,

†††† "Nor men for pride or plunder roam,

†††† "And my millenium brings them home,

††††††† "Howe'er dispers'd through each degree."

††††††††††† If Richard proves a prophet true,

††††††††††† Why may not we be quiet too,

††††††††††† And turn our bull‑dogs into lambs,

††††††††††† Saw off the horns of battering rams

†††††††††††††††† As well as Europe's sons?

†††† Ye Quakers!see with pure delight,

†††† The times approach when men of might,

†††††† And squadrons roving round the ball,

†††††† Shall fight each other not at all.

††††††††††††††† Or fight with wooden guns.

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ‑‑ The Time Piece

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† New York, 6 November 1797

 

The Captainís Clerk
1989, TGM