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Admiral Hopwood Sea Poems (1868-1949)

Charley Noble 12 Jul 09 - 12:54 PM
Charley Noble 12 Jul 09 - 01:03 PM
Charley Noble 12 Jul 09 - 01:10 PM
Charley Noble 12 Jul 09 - 01:56 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Jul 09 - 04:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Jul 09 - 04:35 PM
Charley Noble 14 Jul 09 - 08:13 AM
Peace 14 Jul 09 - 08:26 AM
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Subject: Admiral Hopwood Sea Poems (1868-1949
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 12:54 PM

    This is an edited PermaThread™, intended to collect songs of Admiral Hopwood. This thread will be edited by Charley Ipcar. Feel free to post, but be aware that all messages in this thread are subject to editiong or deletion.
    -Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-

This thread was triggered by the poem "Ship Logs" on the C. Fox Smith thread that was misattributed to her and was composed by Rear Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood (1868-1949) of the Royal Navy. We have subsequently discovered more of his sea poetry, the best known of which is "The Laws of the Navy." We will be posting the Admiral's poems on this thread as we find them and discussing the ones of interest.

Here is some of the initial discusion copied and pasted from the C. Fox Smith thread which related to Admiral Hopwood:

Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Mysha - PM
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 08:31 AM

Charley, the book publication of the poem "Ship Logs" has been found: It's in Laws of the Navy - and Other Poems, by Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood. It's unlikely that he merely collected those poems, even though nobody bothered with saying the man actually wrote them. So, while it's a good poem, it's probably a stranger on this thread.

                                                                                                                                                       Mysha


Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble - PM
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 09:19 AM

Mysha-

Ship Logs? Interesting.

Could you provide a full reference on that, publisher, date, and page?

Undoubtedly you are correct but we'd like to check it out as well.

And it is a good poem!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble - PM
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 09:37 AM

Mysha-

Not to worry! I just researched the publication information myself, and ordered a used copy of the book: Laws of the Navy - and Other Poems, by Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, published by John Murray, London, © 1951.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Mysha - PM
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 10:02 AM

Hi,

British Library to the rescue (also at Library of Congress).

Laws of the Navy - and Other Poems
Admiral Ronald Arthur. Hopwood
John Murray: London, 1951.

Do you absolutely need the page? I don't have it, but I could probably ask, if it's essential.

                                                                                                                                                          Mysha


Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Artful Codger - PM
Date: 09 Jul 09 - 10:42 PM

Per a Google Books snippet view, the index for Punch, v. 189 (1935) shows Hopwood as the author of "Ship Logs". Goggle Books also catalogs several entries for The Laws of the Navy by Hopwood dated 1918. I suspect the 1951 edition is just a reprint.


Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Mysha - PM
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 08:42 AM

Hi Artful,

Don't be fooled by the little red book Google shows in front of those entries. As far as I can tell, that's really their way of saying they do no have an image of the original publication. Considering these other entries are not from the publisher that published his other poetry, I expect that the little red book entries are really inclusions in other works.

I'm afraid I can't find the index: As is quite usual for me, googlebooks will only give me entries that don't include the words I searched for. But I'm glad you found confirmation. Do you think there are enough snippets to make looking for other unknown CFS poems feasible?

Regarding the 1951 first edition: I see the admiral passed away in 1949. The publication from 1951 is therefor likely to be the collection of his best poems, together with those poems didn't appear in one of his earlier books.

                                                                      Mysha



Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble - PM
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 08:49 AM

Artful Codger-

You are correct with regard to an earlier 1918 publication. However, there's an even earlier reference to 1896; the poem originally appeared in the "Army and Navy Gazette", 23 July 1896.

The worthy Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, RN (1868 - 1949) seems to have been a prolific poet. I've been reviewing some of his other poems which are available on-line and I'll start a page for him at the Oldpoetry Website, now that we know that he died some 50 years ago. If anyone finds a reference to his biography on-line, I'd be very interested.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Q - PM
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 12:38 PM

Some first printings of Adm. Hopwood's volumes of poetry-
The Secret of Ships, 64 pp., 1918 and reprints- Includes poems "The Secret of Ships, The King's Messengers, The Mystery Ships, The Freak, The Wardens, The Galleon, The Bo'sun's Mate, The Outlaw, HMS Vanguard, The Vale; 10 poems in all.

The Old Way and other poems, 1916, 1917 and later reprint, 64pp.,
includes "The Boatswain's Call, The Oaks of England, and five other naval poems.

The New Navy and Other Poems, 1919, 96pp., poems.

Navis, a Ship. Content not known, may not be poetry. Rare.

The poem,"The Laws of the Navy," is on line at
Laws of the Navy

"....virtually unknown outside Anglo-American naval officers' circles,..."


Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Q - PM
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 12:48 PM

"Ship Logs" and other poems by Adm. Hopwood C. B. on line, "The Laws of the Navy":
Ship Logs

Thirty-nine poems in all at this site:
Laws of the Navy



Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Charley Noble - PM
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 05:26 PM

Q-

Thanks! Some of the on-line poetry books you've noted I've already harvested but others will be interested. "Ship Logs" was the poem that we misattributed to C. Fox Smith above (which now has an alert note) and which we now know is by Admiral Hopwood.

And I've ordered the 1951 anthology, which has a nice introduction by Alfred Noyes, from a used book website.

I'm still hoping to find some biographical info about the Admiral.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Q - PM
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 05:59 PM

The Old Way and Other Poems, Adm. R. A. Hopwood, complete text on line:
http://www.archive.org/stream/oldwayotherpoems00hopwiala/oldwayotherpoems00hopwiala_djvu.txt


Subject: RE: C. Fox Smith Sea Poems
From: Artful Codger - PM
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 04:25 AM

Clicky for the above. Though the Hopgood stuff should really go in a separate thread.


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Subject: RE: Admiral Hopwood Sea Poems (1868-1949
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:03 PM

Here is the forward by Alfred Noyes for the 1951 edition of THE LAWS OF THE NAVY: 39 Poems by Admiral Ronald Hopwood:

THIRTY-FOUR YEARS AGO in the middle of the first World War, not long after the Battle of Jutland, The Times did a very remarkable thing: it published and "featured" a poem of no less than ten eight-line stanzas. This poem, The Old Way, by Admiral Hopwood, breathed the very spirit of the great sea tradition of England. It stirred all those who read it, in that momentous time, as if they had actually seen the famous fighting ships of English history, in their harbour beyond the setting sun, when

... the breeze has spoken strangers, with a stirring tale to tell,
And a thousand eager voices flung the challenge out to sea:
"Come they hither in the old way, in the only way that's free?"
And the flying Breeze called softly: "In the old way . . ."

Various generations of the old ships put the same question to the new arrivals from the twentieth-century war, and received the same answer. The enemy might have been victor

Still - he hurried into harbour - in the old way -

This poem indeed is something very much more than topical; it is filled with the life-breath of all that is best in the character of those who go down to the sea in ships - patience, resolution, loyalty, self-discipline and complete sincerity. It ends with a symbolic passage of great beauty, in which the silver trumpets are heard sounding on the other side:

"Did you voyage all unspoken, small and lonely?
Or with fame, the happy fortune of the few?
So you win the Golden Harbour, in the old way,
There's the old sea welcome waiting there for you."

I have dwelt on this poem in particular because I feel that it sets the keynote.
I have not the slightest doubt that this book is of permanent value to our literature; and there is no other book of sea poetry quite like it. Ships and the ocean-sea are the main burden throughout. The manner is of the author's own generation, and the matter is timeless. Steeped in the history of the British Navy through the centuries, they speak of something which may be called, quite simply, the soul of England, something that has saved her from a thousand perils in the past and is her only safeguard for the future. Behind the romance and pageantry of the ships there is a deep sense of a power that shapes and controls the events of history. Nobody who knew Ronald Hopwood could forget the sheer sincerity of his belief that behind our apparently chaotic world there is a purpose and a profound spiritual order. There is a sense of this in the lightest as in the most serious of his poems, and it is good to remember that so true a representative of the great sea tradition of our country could look forward to a time when earth should find a lasting peace. His favourite line in English poetry, he told me once, was one in which that hope seems to be expressed in the very voice of the sea itself:

Universal ocean, softly washing all her warless isles.

The music of that line must often have come into his mind in quiet hours at sea.
To that universal ocean, the symbol of God's peace, his ashes were consigned after his death, and in these poems of the sea, for those who loved him, he still speaks to us.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble
    This is an edited PermaThread™, to be used for collecting the sea poems of Admiral Hopwood. It will be edited by Charlie Ipcar. Feel free to post, but be aware that all messages posted in this thread are subject to editing or deletion.
    -Joe Offer, Forum Moderator-


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Subject: Lyr Add: LAWS OF THE NAVY (Adm. Ronald Hopwood)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:10 PM

Here's "The Laws of the Navy" which has been used by naval colleges the world over to instill the proper spirit in the cadets:

The Laws of the Navy

Now these are Laws of the Navy,
Unwritten and varied they be;
And he that is wise will observe them,
Going down in his ship to the sea;

As naught may outrun the destroyer,
Even so with the law and its grip,
For the strength of the ship is the Service,
And the strength of the Service, the ship.

Take heed what ye say of your Rulers,
Be your words spoken softly or plain,
Lest a bird of the air tell the matter,
And so ye shall hear it again.

If ye labor from morn until even,
And meet with reproof for your toil,
It is well – that the gun may be humbled,
The compressor must check the recoil.

On the strength of one link in the cable
Dependeth the might of the chain;
Who knows when thou mayest be tested?
So live that thou bearest the strain!

When the ship that is tired returneth,
With the signs of the sea showing plain,
Men place her in dock for a season,
And her speed she reneweth again.

So shall thou, lest, perchance, thou grow weary
In the uttermost parts of the sea,
Pray for leave, for the good of the Service
As much and as oft as may be.

Count not upon certain promotion,
But rather to gain it aspire;
Though the sight-line shall end on the target,
There cometh, perchance, a miss-fire.

Can'st follow the track of the dolphin
Or tell where the sea swallows roam?
Where Leviathan taketh his pastime?
What ocean he calleth his home?

Even so with the words of thy Rulers,
And the orders those words shall convey.
Every law is as naught beside this one—
"Thou shalt not criticise, but obey!"

Saith the wise, "How may I know their purpose?"
Then acts without wherefore or why.
Stays the fool but one moment to question,
And the chance of his life passeth by.

If ye win through an African jungle,
Unmentioned at home in the Press,
Heed it not; no man seeth the piston,
But it driveth the ship none the less.

Do they growl? It is well: be thou silent,
So that work goeth forward amain;
Lo, the gun throw her shot to a hair's breath
And shouteth, yet none shall complain.

Do they growl and the work be retarded?
It is ill, speak, whatever their rank;
The half-loaded gun also shouteth,
But can she pierce armor with blanks?

Doth the paintwork make war with the funnels?
Do the decks to the cannon complain?
Nay, they know that some soap or a scraper
Unites them as brothers again.

So ye, being Heads of Departments,
Do your growl with a smile on your lips,
Lest ye strive and in anger be parted,
And lessen the might of your ships.

Dost deem that thy vessel needs gilding,
And the dockyard forbear to supply?
Place thy hand in thy pocket and gild her;
There be those who have risen thereby.

Dost think, in a moment of anger,
'Tis well with thy seniors to fight?
They prosper, who burn in the morning,
The letters they wrote overnight;

For some there be, shelved and forgotten,
With nothing to thank for their fate,
Save "That" (on a half-sheet of foolscap),
Which a fool "had the honour to state—."

If the fairway be crowded with shipping,
Beating homeward the harbour to win,
It is meet that, lest any should suffer,
The steamers pass cautiously in;

So thou, when thou nearest promotion,
And the peak that is gilded is nigh,
Give heed to thy words and thine actions,
Lest others be wearied thereby.

It is ill for the winners to worry,
Take thy fate as it comes with a smile,
And when thou art safe in the harbour
They will envy, but may not revile.

Uncharted the rocks that surround thee,
Take heed that the channels thou learn,
Lest thy name serve to buoy for another
That shoal, the Court-Martial Return.

Though Armour the belt that protects her,
The ship bears the scar on her side;
It is well if the Court shall acquit thee;
It were best hadst thou never been tried.

Moral

As the wave rises clear to the hawse pipe,
Washes aft, and is lost in the wake,
So shall ye drop astern all unheeded,
Such time as the law ye forsake.

Take heed in your manner of speaking
That the language ye use may be sound,
In the list of the words of your choosing
"Impossible" may not be found.

Now these are the Laws of the Navy
And many and mighty are they,
But the hull and the deck and keel
And the truck of the law is - OBEY

Notes:

This poem originally appeared in the "Army and Navy Gazette", 23 July, 1896.

It was republished in THE NEW NAVY AND OTHER POEMS, by Admiral Ronald Hopwood, published by John Murray, London, © 1919.

The last section of this poem, the moral, was evidently expanded after the 1919 publication date.
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHIP LOGS (Adm. Ronald A. Hopwood)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 01:56 PM

And here's the "Ship Log" poem which triggered this thread:

Ship Logs

Ship logs for firewood – take them as you find them,
Broken ends of timber that are good for nothing more,
Lying in the breaker's yard, working days behind them;
You should know the feeling now you've settled down on shore!
Bought your little farm again, left the sea for good now?
Playing at forgetting it, pretending not to care?
Draw the curtains closer, man, and fetch a load of wood now,
Pile the hearth with ship logs and – light them if you dare!

Ship logs for firewood – listen how they chatter,
Whispering excitedly in many tongues of flame,
Gossip from the Seven Seas, things that really matter,
All the ships you ever loved calling you by name;
Plucking at the lashing that so pitilessly bind you,
Dragging at the anchors that you thought could hold their own,
Dressed in rainbow fashion, they have come ashore to find you;
P'r'aps they know it's bad for you to sit and brood alone.

Ship logs for firewood – louder still and brighter,
So the Roaring Forties to the south'ard of St. Paul
Called you in the eighties; you were younger then and lighter,
Raced the upper-yard men once and fairly beat them all;
Hark! Your sailing orders; there's the pennant up there flying
Ninety yards astern of you to track the homeward bound;
Sweethearts on the tow-rope, with a pull there's no denying,
Stamp and go together, draw you home to Plymouth Sound.

Ship logs for firewood – only fit for burning;
Even as they're dying see how cheerily they blaze;
Think of that a minute, and you're in the way of learning
Something that will see you through the dreariest of days!
Get another lorry-load and never have a doubt of them,
Then, with humble gratitude for all they have to give,
Ply the bellows lustily and get their secrets out of them;
Ship logs for firewood will teach you how to live!

By Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, RN, from Punch Magazine, Volume 188, December 4, 1935 p. 625.

This philosophical poem was prefaced with the following quote from a shipbreaker's advirtisement:

"For real comfort nothing equals a good fire of old ship logs."

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Admiral Hopwood Sea Poems (1868-1949
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 04:24 PM

Laws of the Navy

Some corrections and revisions took place in republications. Some appear in the text posted above. I hope that the text I take as a model, from "World War I Document Archive," is not one of them!!

1. Verses of four lines.
2. Correction to last two verses before the Moral
3. Correction to first line of Moral

Uncharted the rocks that surround thee,
Take heed that the channels thou learn,
Lest thy name serve to buoy for another
That shoal the "Court-Martial Return."

Though a *Harveyised belt may protect her
The ship bears the scar on her side;
'Tis well if the Court should acquit thee--
But 'twere best had'st thou never been tried.

MORAL
As the wave washes clear at the hawse pipe,
Washes aft, and is lost in the wake;
So shall thou drop astern all unheeded
Such time as these laws ye forsake.

Take heed in your manner of speaking, ...

Now these are the Laws of the Navy,
And many and mighty are they. ....


*Harveyized- a belt of armour has been applied to the ship. This word, being unknown to the general public, the line was changed to the one posted by Charley Noble.
There may be other minor changes in the republications; I have not checked.

Laws Navy

Looked at the list of RN Flag Officers at this site, did not find R. A. Hopwood. Perhaps he was on 'desk' assignment since he would have been 49 years old when WW1 started.


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Subject: RE: Admiral Hopwood Sea Poems (1868-1949
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jul 09 - 04:35 PM

Looking for biography of Adm Hopwood, these records would help-
If someone at Kew could help-

Records of British Seamen and Ships


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD WAY (Adm. Ronald A. Hopwood)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:13 AM

The Old Way


There's a sea that lies uncharted far beyond the setting sun,
And a gallant fleet was sailing there whose fighting days are done,
Sloop and galleon, brig and pinnace, all the rigs you never met,
Fighting frigate, grave three-decker with their snowy canvas set;
Dozed and dreamed, when, on a sudden, ev'ry sail began to swell,
For the breeze has spoken strangers, with a stirring tale to tell,
And a thousand eager voices flung the challenge out to sea:
"Come they hither in the old way, in the only way that's free?"

And the flying breeze called softly: "In the old way,
Through the winters and the waters of the North,
They have waited, ah the waiting! in the old way,
Strong and patient, from the Pentlands to the Forth.
There was fog to blind and baffle off the headlands,
There were gales to beat the worst that ever blew,
But they took it, as they found it, in the old way,
And I know it often helped to think of you."

'Twas a frigate, under stun-sails, as she gently gathered way
Spoke in jerks, like all the frigates, who have little time to stay:
"We'd to hurry, under Nelson, thank my timbers I was tough,
For he worked us as he loved us, and he never had enough.
Are the English mad as ever? Were the frigates just as few?
(Will their sheets be always stranding, ere the rigging's rove anew?)
Just as Saxon slow at starting, just as weirdly wont to win?
Had they frigates out and watching? Did they pass the signals in?"

And the laughing Breeze made answer: "In the old way;
You should see the little cruisers spread and fly,
Peering over the horizon, in the old way,
And a seaplane up and wheeling in the sky.
When the wireless snapped 'The enemy is sighted,'
If his accents were comparatively new,
Why, the sailor-men were cheering, in the old way,
So I naturally smiled, and thought of you."

Then a courtly voice and stately from a tall three-decker came -
She'd the manners of a monarch and a story in her name:
"We'd a winter gale at even, and my shrouds are aching yet,
It was more than time for reefing when the upper sails were set.
So we chased in woeful weather, till we closed in failing light,
Then we fought them, as we caught them, just as Hawke had bid us fight;
And we swept the sea by sunrise, clear and free beyond a doubt.
Was it thus the matter ended when the enemy was out?"

Cried the Breeze: "They fought and followed in the old way,
For they raced to make a record all the while,
With a knot to veer and haul on, in the old way,
That had never even met the measured mile -
And the guns were making merry in the twilight.
That the enemy was victor may be true,
Still - he hurried into harbour - in the old way -
And I wondered if he'd ever heard of you."

Came a gruff and choking chuckle, and a craft as black as doom
Lumbered laughing down to leeward, as the bravest gave her room.
"Set 'un blazin', good your Lordships, for the tide be makin' strong,
Proper breeze to fan a fireship, set 'un drivin' out along!
'Tis the 'Torch,' wi' humble duty, from Lord Howard 'board the 'Ark.'
We'm a laughin'-stock to Brixham, but a terror after dark.
Hold an' bilge a-nigh to burstin', pitch and sulphur, tar an' all,
Was it so, my dear, they'm fashioned for my Lord High Admiral?"

Cried the Breeze: "You'd hardly know it from the old way
(Gloriana, did you waken at the fight?).
Stricken shadows, scared and flying in the old way
From the swift destroying spectres of the night,
There were some that steamed and scattered south for safety,
From the mocking western echo 'Where be tu?'
There were some that - got the message - in the old way,
And the flashes in the darkness spoke of you."

There's a wondrous Golden Harbour, far beyond the setting sun,
Where a gallant ship may anchor when her fighting days are done,
Free from tempest, rock and battle, toil and tumult safely o'er,
Where the breezes murmur softly and there's peace for evermore.
They have climbed the last horizon, they are standing in from sea,
And the Pilot makes the Haven where a ship is glad to be.
Comes at last the glorious greeting, strangely new and ages old,
See the sober grey is shining like the Tudor green and gold!

And the waiting jibs are hoisted, in the old way,
As the guns begin to thunder down the line;
Hear the silver trumpets calling, in the old way!
Over all the silken pennons float and shine -
"Did you voyage all unspoken, small and lonely?
Or with fame, the happy fortune of the few?
So you win the Golden Harbour, in the old way,
There's the old sea welcome waiting there for you."

Notes:

From THE OLD WAYS AND OTHER POEMS, by Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, published by John Murray, London, UK, © 1917.

First published in London in November 1917 and reprinted in February 1918 in The Muse in Arms comprised, in the words of editor E. B. Osborne:

"A collection of war poems, for the most part written in the field of action, by seamen, soldiers, and flying men who are serving, or have served, in the Great War".

"I deeply regret to report the loss of H.M. ships..."
Sir John Jellicoe's Despatch after the Battle of Jutland ("The Times", 7 July 1916)

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Admiral Hopwood Sea Poems (1868-1949)
From: Peace
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:26 AM

http://www.inquirewithin.biz/laws/lawsindex.htm


Hope that's a help to you.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BOATSWAIN'S CALL (Adm. R. A. Hopwood)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:35 AM

THE BOATSWAIN'S CALL (25TH APRIL, 1513)


LORD EDWARD HOWARD walked his quarter-deck.
His badge, of Henry's Royal hand bestowed,
The golden ball and chain, about his neck,
High Admiral of England.

Up from the South and who shall say him nay?-
Came the Chevalier Pregent de Bidoux,
His fleet of galleys formed in brave array
Off Brest, across the Channel.

"But six ships we, your lordship, few and small."
"The better then my whistle ye shall hear,
And rally to the watchword in its call,
High Admiral of England."

So forth they fared, by oar and wind and tide,
Faithful to follow where my Lord should lead;
His galley's laid along the foeman's side,
Off Brest, across the Channel.

He called his boarders. Swift they made reply,
"St. George for England!" leaping from the decks,
And ever in the van his battle-cry,
"High Admiral of England!"

While yet they swarm across nor count the cost,
The galleys drave asunder, leaving there
Him and sixteen to face de Bidoux's host,
Off Brest, across the Channel.

To fight and die unyielding in their pride,
A hundred swords and pikemen thrust them down,
And last was he, borne fighting over side,
High Admiral of England

Who, scorning death, so that his honour be
All pure, unclasped his chain and flung it far
Into the keeping of the Narrow Sea,
Off Brest, across the Channel.

And smiling as it flashed and sank from sight,
"None else," he cried," shall wear, and mocking say
This was his badge, token of England's might,
High Admiral of England."

So passed to rest. Yet, while the great ships steer
Outward or home, in safety, as ye go
Is it the night wind only that ye hear
Off Brest, across the Channel?

Then, be the daily task or great or small,
What time the old shrill note awakes the decks,
So each receives the message in its call –
"High Admiral of England."

"Such as pass on the seas" shall never cease,
In lawful cause, secure, to come and go,
And, in their passing, he shall rest at peace,
Off Brest, across the Channel.

Notes:

From THE OLD WAYS AND OTHER POEMS, by Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, published by John Murray, London, UK, © 1916. p. 57.

Dedicated to "The Commander in Chief."

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Admiral Hopwood Sea Poems (1868-1949)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:37 AM

Peace-

Thanks for the link above; that's where I've harvested the poems that were republished in 1951 and where I found the Preface by Alfred Noyes.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE AUXILIARY (Ronald A. Hopwood)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:16 PM

The Auxiliary

''LITTLE trawler, little trawler, are you putting out to sea?
Will you bring me back a herring? I'm as hungry as can be."
And the trawler said, "I'm sorry; I would bring you what you wish,
But, for urgent private reasons, I shall not be catching ....herrings, for

"I've got a job of work to do for England;
It's a job that seems particularly new.
Yet I wouldn't be without it, and I'll tell you more about it,
If you'll promise not to shout it when I'm through.

And you'll discover,
That it's just as old as Drake and Captain Hawkins;
For it's risky where it isn't full of fun.
Oh, I've got a job of work to do for England,
And I'll not be back at Grimsby till it's done."

"Little trawler, little trawler, have you truly told me all?
That's a wicked-looking Hotchkiss, is it used to shoot the trawl?"
"Now I wonder," said the trawler, "where I got the beggar from?
Or the thing that you are kicking, that's the newest kind of . . .
football, and

"We use it when we play for Merrie England;
But it's delicate, and liable to fits,
So we're careful where we stow it, till we get a chance to throw it
At a certain fish below it, name of Fritz.

Oh, Gott strafe England!

How it would have tickled Drake and Captain Hawkins!
For it's risky where it isn't full of fun.
Oh, I've got a job of work to do for England,
And I'll not be back at Grimsby till it's done."


"Little trawler, little trawler, with the quaint old English name,
Did the little ships before you ever join in such a game?"
"Well, I've heard my Mother tell me," said the trawler," long ago,
That Lord Howard had to use 'em just as much as .........

his successor, when

"He went to do a job of work for England,
With the odds against him four or five to one.
They went chasing through the Narrows,
Like a flock of little sparrows,
With their pikes and bows and arrows and a gun

If they were lucky,

Calling, 'Out! and follow Drake and Captain Hawkins!'
For it's risky where it isn't full of fun.
Oh, I've got a job of work to do for England,
And I'll not be back at Grimsby till it's done."

"Little trawler, little trawler, you are mocking me I, think,
What's the fish that you are after ?" And the trawler stopped to wink
"Well, it's not exactly silver and it's not exactly green,
And it's rather like a mack'rel, but it's just a ............ trifle larger, and

"You meet it in a job of work for England;

But look out you don't mistake it for a whale,
For it's oily when it's sinking,
But it's nose will set you thinking,
And there's something spins like winking, in it's tail;

But if it's peevish,

You can tell it about Drake and Captain Hawkins.
Though it's risky where it isn't full of fun,
But I've got a job of work to do for England;
I must hurry out to sea and get it done."

"Little trawler, home from seaward, oh, so black against the sky,
With your sides all torn and battered, and your flag but half-mast high.
Did your voyage fail to prosper?" Cried the little trawler, "No!
We went out and did our duty but the Skipper lies below.

"Oh, he went to do a job of work for England,
And he did it as a Skipper ought to do.
There were shot and shell a-flying,
But we sank her where she's lying,
For the Skipper down and dying pulled us through

And cheered and left us,

For to sail with Frankie Drake and Captain Hawkins,
To a harbour shining brighter than the sun,
Where a man that's done a job of work for England
Comes to anchor, safe and welcome, when it's done."

Notes:

From THE OLD WAYS AND OTHER POEMS, by Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, published by John Murray, London, UK, © 1916 , p. 35.

Dedicated "To the Trawlers" who played such a vital role in the war against the U-boats in World War 1.

Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FIGUREHEADS (Adm. Ronald A. Hopwood)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 14 Jul 09 - 08:28 PM

The Figureheads

THE most noble Duke of Brunswick was a figure proud and trim,
For the Captain of the Fo'c'sle did his valeting for him,
Smoothed his hat of royal purple, brushed his coat of gold and red,
Till Lord Howe himself would marvel at the Brunswick's figurehead.

They were smart on board the Brunswick, and a merry-hearted crew,
Who would fight till further orders, as a happy ship should do,
And would dance to any measure, if his Lordship called the tune;
So they followed the Queen Charlotte on the famous First of June.

But the enemy was crafty, and his line was ordered so
That the gap was blocked completely where the Brunswick tried to go.
But she knew, in less than no time, she'd have something like a fight,
For her starboard bower anchor hooked the Vengeur hard and tight.

"Shall I clear her?" cried the Master. Captain Harvey made reply,
"As we've got her, we will keep her!" Then the shot began to fly,
And the range was less than inches, e'er the lower guns could play;
So the Brunswicks, double-shotted, blew their lower ports away.

They were busy in the Brunswick, for there wasn't room to miss,
And their decks were blown to splinters, and the flames began to hiss,
While the bullets ripped the fo'c'sle but they only laughed at that,
Till a chain-shot from the Vengeur got the Duke of Brunswick's hat!

Then a solemn deputation from the Brunswick's fo'c'sle came
With the news to Captain Harvey: " Sir! Your Honour! 'tis for shame,
And in no ways right or proper, for our Royal Duke to go
With his noble head uncovered in the face of any foe."

At a word, the Captain's coxswain fetched a hat superbly laced,
Which the captain of the fo'c'sle on the oaken temples placed,
Nailed secure, and passed a lashing fit to stand the hardest strain,
And the happy deputation scampered off to fight again!

Ten o'clock the battle started; close on two before they'd done,
With the gallant Vengeur sinking and the Brunswick's mizen gone;
But the noble Duke came through it, like a fighter born and bred,
With his hand upon his sword-hilt and his hat upon his head.

You may search the North Seas over till you find the British Fleet,
And at first, perhaps, you'll think that figureheads are obsolete;
But the sailor-folk can see them where they always used to be,
Full of strength and mystic meaning, gazing far and out to sea !

In the hazy northern twilight, through the spray that drives and stings,
Swift the famous phantoms gather, shades of mighty Queens and Kings,
Nymphs and Shepherds, Gods and Heroes, back again to guide and guard,
For they've left their battered bodies in the old ship-breaking yard.

Home, to fill the vacant places, for the jack-staff's down and stow'd,
And the old old work's beginning down the long-remembered road.
Well content, they form and follow in their leader's whirling wake,
As the bow wave springs to greet them, and for old acquaintance' sake.

Though their thrones be strangely fashioned, they can tell with half an eye
That there's nothing changed that matters when the shot begin to fly;
For by turret, flat, or furnace, with a chuckle now and then,
Fight the lineal descendants of the Brunswick's fo'c'sle men.

Notes:

From THE OLD WAYS AND OTHER POEMS, by Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, published by John Murray, London, UK, © 1916 , p. 49.

Describes an incident which took place on board the H.M.S. "Brunswick" during the Battle of the 1st of June, 1794.

Dedicated to "The Ship's Companies."

Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BO'SUN'S MATE (Adm. R. A. Hopwood)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 01:41 PM

The Bo'sun's Mate

There's a big beam sea and half a gale.
And the Frigate's Skipper has shortened sail
He is peering under his storm-hat's brim
To see what the Flagship wants of him.

The Skipper is short and the Skipper is stout.
But the Flagship's throwing his signal out,
And she lies, hove to, with her masts so tall,
So the Skipper must board the Admiral.

My word! but the Flagship's rolling there,
With her mainsail up and her mainyard square;
And the Skipper's boat is dancing too.
To the tune of a lusty sea-boat's crew.

So now to the Flagship's side he's come,
But the Flagship's sides they tumble home.
And the climb might fill with doubts and fears
A slim young fellow of half his years.

But, so the Skipper shall take no harm,
There's a "whip" at the Flagship's mainyard arm-
A whip made fast to a bos'un's chair,
And soon the Skipper is seated there.

When the watch on deck have manned the fall
To the long shrill cry of the bo'sun's call.
Why, the watch on deck they haul, and grin.
So the Skipper is hoisted safely in!

And if, to-day, you should go so far
As the bay where the great grey warships are.
And open your eyes and ears so wide
When a Skipper steps up the Flagship's side.

No "whip" you'll see, for there's no mainyard.
But right in front of the Sergeant's guard,
To keep in touch with the old-time state,
Is the stalwart form of the Bo'sun's mate.

No watch on deck to man the fall,
But the long shrill cry of the bo'uns's call
Salutes the Skipper just the same.
To tell him the way that his Fathers came.

Notes:

From The Secret of the Ships, by Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, published by John Murray, London, UK, © 1918, p. 45.

Marks of Respect. — " Captains . . . coming on board
are to be received by a Sergeant's Guard, the boatswain's
mate piping the side according to the custom of the
service." — Orders for the Officer of the Watch.

Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE FREAK (Adm. Ronald A. Hopwood)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 01:46 PM

The Freak

Oh, His Majesty's ships they had timbers of teak
And a Jack at the bows and a flag at the peak;
They would die for their King as he sat on his throne.
But their souls were immortal, and, when they had flown
They would rest for a while where you'd seek them in vain
Till the day they were summoned to service again.

Now a spectre came sailing at sunset one day
To the base where the cruisers and battleships lay;
As she beat into harbour her sails never shook
And the battleships strained at their cables to look;
Such a droll little spirit from counter to beak
That the cruisers cried out, "Oh, my dear, what a freak!"

Now the ships of the squadrons could never mistake
Any fashion they'd worn under Nelson or Drake,
From a ship of the line to a galley or brig,
But they'd never encountered the visitor's rig;
And she sang an old chantey that nobody knew,
"Oh, the sumer's icumen, sing Ihude, cuccu!"

Then the great Queen Elizabeth hailed from the van,
And she twinkled as much as a battleship can:
"They are free to the sea who establish their right.
Tell us what was your service and where did you fight?"
"Oh, I'll prove you my service," the stranger she cried
"If you'll show me the way to the Banks of the Clyde.

"I'd the luck to be launched by an English Princess,
So I wear in her honour my christening dress;
And I fought for my King as he sat on his throne
In the greatest sea battle that ever was known,
And a flagon was drained, as the hurricane burst.
To the health of His Majesty Edward the First.

"In our van there went Tiptoft, a noble of note,
And 'Sir Robert,' I mind me, we called him afloat,
While the enemy's flag on that glorious day
Carried Charles, Count of Valois, from over the way;
And we'd moored an old hulk in the Channel, you see.
For to mark us the place where the battle should be.

"Then we blew on our trumpets and beat on our gongs,
And we went at it lustily, hammer and tongs,
With a 'Hi' for our cry, and 'Long life to our Prince,'
There was never a battle so terrible since,
For the arrows and stones were a caution to see,
Oh, we fought to some purpose in twelve ninety-three!"

Then the giants of Jutland, suspiciously grave,
Why, they up with their anchors and escort they gave,
And they showed her the road to the Banks of the Clyde;
But as soon as the squadrons got into their stride
You could hear pretty clear in the swirl of each screw:
"Oh, the sumer's icumen, sing Ihude, cuccu!"

And the sun rose in splendour at Greenock next day
On a marvellous cruiser in natal array;
Reincarnate her soul, as the sound of her name
With a prayer from the lips of her godmother came,
And her heart beat as English in steel as in teak,
For a Princess of England was launching — a Freak.

Notes:

From The Secret of the Ships, by Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, published by John Murray, London, UK, © 1918, p. 21.

Notes from the poet:

"The battle described by the Freak to the Grand Fleet is evidently that referred to by Naval Historians as having taken place on the 14th April, 1293, and was the outcome
of the following incidents:

Two English sailors landing in Normandy had been attacked by the crews of Norman ships.

Reprisals followed alternately, until it was ultimately decided to fight the matter out in mid-channel at a spot previously marked by an anchored hulk.

The English, with Irish and Dutch support. are said to have numbered about 60; the Normans, assisted by French, Flamands, and Genoese, 240.

While these figures are extremely doubtful, it is quite
certain that the Freak was on the winning side."

Charley Noble


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Subject: Lyr Add: H.M.S. VANGUARD (Adm. Ronald A. Hopwood)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 02:09 PM

H. M. S. Vanguard

Chose for her helm the faith more fair than fame,
A spotless record to her ancient name;
Her compass, that which varied not nor swerved,
The honour of the fleet in which she served.
Lit by a loyalty that never failed.
Shone high tradition when the Vanguards sailed :
So sailing, found the haven of their quest,
Where they are glad, because they are at rest.

She shall fear no doubting challenge streaming out against the sky.
When she makes the shining harbour where the old-world Vanguards lie;
For her name shows bright as ever, free from all that stains or harms.
To the mariners and Captains and the mail-clad men-at-arms.
Can you hear the swell of cheering thro' the crash of culverin
As they man their yards and castles for a Vanguard's coming in?

But her Squadron, all in silence, set their steel-clad stems to sea,
For the wake shows white and empty where their sister loved to be.

From The Secret of the Ships, by Admiral Ronald A. Hopwood, published by John Murray, London, UK, © 1918, p. 57.

In memory of the officers and men of H.M.S. Vanguard who perished with her on July 9th, 1917, when she blew up at Scapa Flow as one of her magazines overheated.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: Admiral Hopwood Sea Poems (1868-1949)
From: Paul Burke
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 04:41 PM

He must have known Arthur Quiller-Couch, who was an almost exact contemporary- is there any record of correspondance between them? And I wonder if Hopwood was author of "Cawsands Bay"?


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