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English Poetry II: From Collins to Fitzgerald.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

William Cowper

314. Loss of the Royal George

TOLL for the Brave!

The brave that are no more!

All sunk beneath the wave

Fast by their native shore!

Eight hundred of the brave

Whose courage well was tried,

Had made the vessel heel

And laid her on her side.

A land-breeze shook the shrouds

And she was overset;

Down went the Royal George,

With all her crew complete.

Toll for the brave!

Brave Kempenfelt is gone;

His last sea-fight is fought,

His work of glory done.

It was not in the battle;

No tempest gave the shock;

She sprang no fatal leak,

She ran upon no rock.

His sword was in its sheath,

His fingers held the pen,

When Kempenfelt went down

With twice four hundred men.

Weigh the vessel up

Once dreaded by our foes!

And mingle with our cup

The tears that England owes.

Her timbers yet are sound,

And she may float again

Full charged with England’s thunder,

And plough the distant main:

But Kempenfelt is gone,

His victories are o’er;

And he and his eight hundred

Shall plough the wave no more.