'Tis of a stately Southerner who flew the Stripes and Stars
The whistling wind from west nor'west blew through our pitch-pine spars
We had our larboard tacks on board as we hung upon a gale,
Geble Island light shone bright from the Old Head of Kinsale.
No thought was there of shortening sail by him who trod our poop,
Although the press of our pondering jibs, the boom bends like a hoop;
Our groaning chess-trees told the strain that stood on our stout main tack
But he only laughed as he glanced abaft at the white and glistening track.
It was a bright snd a cloudless night, the wind blew fresh and strong
As gaily o'er the Channel wave our good ship swept along.
With the foaming sea before her bow the briny wave she spread
Till bending low in a foam like snow she buries her lee cathead.
"What's this upon our weather bow what ship is this I see?
It's time our good ship hauled her wind, we're abreast the old Saltee"
'Twas by the nightly robe she wore and her tap'ring length of spar
We knew our morning visitor was a British man-o'-war.
What did our daring foeman do? A shot ahead he passed,
Clewed up his fiowing courses, laid his topsails to the mast.
Those British tars gave three huzzas from the deck of their black corvette
But we answered back with a scornful laugh as our starry flag we set.
"Out booms, out booms!" cried the Southerner. "Out booms, and give her
Here comes the fastest man-o'-war of all the Channel fieet.
She's bearing down upon us, boys, with the white foam at her bow
Out booms, out booms!" cried the Southerner. "Don't spare your canvas now!"
The midtide meets the Channel wave that flows from shore to shore
The mist hung heavy o'er the land from Featherstone to Dunmore;
The day star glinted in the east, four bells had rolled the hour,
And the sterling light on Tuskar Rock was quenched in the Waterford Tower.
Out spake our noble captain then, not a cloud was on his brow:
"Stand by, my gallant heroes all, the enemy's on us now.
We carry aloft the Stars and Stripes against old England's boast.
Paul Jones, the terror of the sea, will fly them on her coast!"
The fog was rising o'er the land, the wind was from the shore,
And the poor Dungarven fishernen sought shelter in Kinsore.
With light sails set and booms rigged out and stun's'ls hoisted away
Paul Jones did clear the Channel mouth before the dawn of day.
Note: This one commemorates a non-battle. Privateer John Paul Jones sailed
into the Irish Sea in 1778 to attack British shipping and raid the coast
of Cumberland. He encountered a larger and more powerful British man-
o'war, but his lighter vessel, the Ranger, was able to outrun and
outmaneuver the British ship, and escaped.
From Shanteymen and Shanty Boys, Doerflinger
@sailor @war @American @revolution
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