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[Young Casabianca, a boy about thirteen years old, son of the Ad: Ay, yes, the fight! Well, messmates, well, niiral of the Orient, remained at his post (in the Battle of the Nile) after the ship had taken fire and all the guns had been abandoned,
I served on board that Ninety-eight; an. I perished in the explosion of the vessel, when the flames had Yet what I saw I loathe to tell. reached the powder.]
To-night be sure a crushing weight
Upon my sleeping breast, a hell
Of dread, will sit. At any rate,
Though land-locked here, a watch I 'll keep, – Shone round him o'er the dead.
Grog cheers uis still. Who cares for sleep?
The timbers with the broadsides strain ;
The slippery decks send up a steam From hot and living blood, and high And shrill is heard the death-pang cry.
The shredded limb, the splintered bone,
The unstiffened corpse, now block the way! Who now can hear the dying groan ?
The trumpet of the judgment-day, Had it pealed forth its mighty tone,
We should not then have heard, -- to say Would be rank sin; but this I tell, That could alone our madness quell.
Upon the forecastle I fought
As captain of the for'ad gun.
What mother then had known her son Of those who stood around ? — distraught,
And smeared with gore, about they run, Then fall, and writhe, and howling die ! But one escaped, — that one was I !
The blessed tear was on my check,
She smiled with that old smile I know . “ Turn to me, mother, turn and speak,"
Was on my quivering lips, — when lo ! All vanished, and a dark, red streak
Glared wild and vivid from the foe, That flashed upon the blood-stained water, For fore and aft the flames had caught her. She struck and hailed us. On us fast
All burning, helplessly, she came, Near, and more near; and not a mast
Had we to help us from that flame. ’T was then the bravest stood aghast,
'T was then the wicked, on the name (With danger and with guilt appalled) Of God, too long neglected, called. The eddying flames with ravening tongue
Now on our ship's dark bulwarks dash, We almost touched, -- when ocean rung
Down to its depths with one loud crash ! In heaven's top vault one instant hung
The vast, intense, and blinding flash ! Then all was darkness, stillness, dread, The wave moaned o'er the valiant dead. She's gone ! blown up! that gallant foe!
And though she left us in a plight, We floatel still; long were, I know,
And hard, the labors of that night To clear the wreck. At length in tow
A frigate took us, when 't was light; And soon an English port we gained, A hulk all battered and blood-stained. So many sluin,
- so many drowned ! I like not of that fight to tell. Come, let the cheerful grog go round !
Messmates, I've done. A spell, ho! spell, Though a pressed man, I 'll still be found
To do a seaman's duty well.
Night darkened round, and the storm pealed;
To windward of us lay the foe.
He could not fight his guns below;
Our vessel, as if some vast blow
Then howled the thunder. Tumult then
Had stunned herself to silence. Round Were scattered lightning-blasted men !
Our mainmast went. All stifled, drowned, Arose the Frenchman's shout. Again
The bolt burst on us, and we found Our masts all gone,
- our decks all riven : Man's war mocks faintly that of heaven!
Just then, — nay, messmates, laugh not now,
As I, amazed, one minute stood Amidst that rout, - I know not how,
"T was silence all, the raving flood, The
guns that pealed from stem to bow, And God's own thunder, — nothing could I then of all that tumult hear,
Or see aught of that scene of fear,
My aged mother at her door
Sat mildly o'er her humming wheel ; The cottage, orchard, and the moor,
I saw them plainly all. I'll kneel, And swear I saw them ! 0, they wore
A look all peace? Could I but feel Again that bliss that then I felt, That made my heart, like chillloodl's, melt !
THE SAILOR'S WIFE. And are ye sure the news is true ?
And are ye sure he's weel? Is this a time to think o' wark ?
Ye jacles, lay by your wheel , Is this the time to spin a thread,
When Colin's at the door? Reach down my cloak, I 'll to the quay,
And see him coine ashore.
There 's nac luck at a';
When our guuleman 's awa'.
If Sir Sidney was wrong, why then black ball my
song, E'en his foes he would scorn to deceive; His escape was but just, and confess it you must, For it only was taking French leave, you know, It only was taking French leave.
NAPOLEON AND THE BRITISH SAILOR.
Sae true his heart, sae smooth his speech,
His breath like caller air ; His very foot has music in 't
As he comes up the stair,
And will I hear him speak ?
In troth I 'm like to greet !
I hae nae mair to crave :
I'm blest aboon the lave :
And will I hear him speak ?
In troth I 'm like to greet.
There 's nae luck at a';
W. J. MICKLE.
I LOVE contemplating — apart
From all his homicidal glory — The traits that soften to our heart
'T was when his banners at Boulogne
Armed in our island every freemail, His navy chanced to capture one
Poor British seaman.
They suffered him - I know not how
Unprisoned on the shore to roam ; And aye was bent his longing brow
On England's home.
SIR SIDNEY SMITH.
His eye, methinks ! pursued the flight
Of birds to Britain half-way over ; With envy they could reach the white
Dear cliffs of Dover.
GENTLEFOLKS, in my time, I've made many a
rhyme, But the song I now trouble you with, Lays some claim to applause, and you 'll grant
it, because The subject's Sir Sidney Smith, it is ; The subject's Sir Sidney Smith.
A stormy midnight watch, he thought,
Than this sojourn would have been dearer, If but the storm his vessel brought
To England nearer.