THE CONSTITUTION AND JAVA

 

 

††††††††††† Ye lads who cross the briny deep,

††††††††††† Where raging billows roar;

††††††††††† Who boldly venture forth to fight,

††††††††††† And guard your country's shore;

††††††††††† Give ear unto my ditty, lads,

††††††††††† And mark well what I say,

††††††††††† This how we take the British ships,

††††††††††† And sink them in the sea.

††††††††††††† Then rally round your standard boys,

††††††††††††††† 'tho cannon balls may fly,

††††††††††††† Free trade and no impressments,

††††††††††††††† for this cause we'll fight & die.

 

††††††††††† 'Tis of our gallant Bainbridge,

††††††††††† A man of courage bold;

††††††††††† Together with his jovial crew,

††††††††††† Who scorn to be controul'd;

††††††††††† On board the Constitution,

††††††††††† That frigate of renown;

††††††††††† To whom imperious Britain's son,

††††††††††† Shall haul their colors down.

††††††††††††† Then rally round, &c.

 

††††††††††† Remember on the twenty ninth,

††††††††††† Just of the Brazil shore,

†††††††† †††We espy'd the Java frigate boys,

††††††††††† And after her we bore,

††††††††††† She soon plied us with distant shot,

††††††††††† Which did our ship annoy,

††††††††††† So briskly we returned the same.

††††††††††† Which did their spars destroy.

††††††††† †††††Then rally round, &c.

 

††††††††††† Resolv'd to try our temper'd steel,

††††††††††† She down upon us bore;

††††††††††† Her scuppers then bespoke her fate,

††††††††††† With streams of purple gore;

††††††††††† An hour and twenty minutes lads,

†††††††††† †So fiercely she did fight;

††††††††††† When every mast and every spar

††††††††††† Was from her shot outright.

†††††††††††††† Then rally round, &c.

 

††††††††††† Nine score of Britain's valiant sons,

††††††††††† Lay bleeding on their deck;

††††††††††† The guns were all dismounted,

††††††††††† Their ship a perfect wreck;

††††††††††† For to resist our gallant tars

††††††††††† No longer did they try,

††††††††††† They had their choice to strike my boys,

††††††††††† Or sink into the sea.

††††††††††††††† Then rally round, &c.

 

††††††††††† To leeward then they fired a gun,

††††††††††† Their weapons then let fall;

††††††††††† The Constitution ceas'd to fire,

††††††††††† When they for quarters call:

††††††††††† Their crew we soon took out of her,

††††††††††† And set their ship on fire,

††††††††††† And soon the fragments of their deck,

††††††††††† Were blown into the air.

†††††††††††††† Then rally round, &c.

 

††††††††††† Here's health unto bold Bainbridge,

††††††††††† Her gallant crew likewise:

††††††††††† And to each fair Columbian lass

††††††††††† Who does a hero prize;

††††††††††† Let Britain then respect our flag,

††††††††††† As friends we hold them dear,

††††††††††† They'll find when they invade our right,

††††††††††† We're not appall'ed by fear.

†††††††††††††† Then rally round, &c.

 

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ‑‑ Anonymous

 

The Captainís Clerk
1989, TGM