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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Spain, Portugal, Belgium, and Holland: Vols. XIV–XV. 1876–79.

Spain: Cadiz

The Winning of Cales

By Percy’s Reliques

  • This is one of many exulting effusions which were called forth by the taking of Cadiz (vulgarly called Cales). The town was captured on the 21st of June, 1596, the Earl of Effingham being high-admiral of the fleet, and Essex general of the land forces.

  • LONG had the proud Spaniards

    Advancèd to conquer us,

    Threatening our country

    With fire and sword;

    Often preparing

    Their navy most sumptuous,

    With all the provision

    That Spain could afford.

    Dub a-dub, dub,

    Thus strike the drums,

    Tan-ta-ra, ta-ra-ra,

    The Englishman comes.

    To the seas presently

    Went our lord admiral,

    With knights courageous,

    And captains full good;

    The earl of Essex,

    A prosperous general,

    With him preparèd

    To pass the salt flood.

    Dub a-dub, etc.

    At Plymouth speedily,

    Took they ships valiantly;

    Braver ships never

    Were seen under sail;

    With their fair colours spread,

    And streamers o’er their head;

    Now, bragging Spaniards,

    Take heed of your tail.

    Dub a-dub, etc.

    Unto Cales cunningly,

    Came we most happily,

    Where the kings navy

    Did secretly ride;

    Being upon their back,

    Piercing their buts of sack,

    Ere that the Spaniards

    Our coming descry’d.

    Tan-ta-ra, ta-ra-ra,

    The Englishman comes;

    Bounce a-bounce, bounce a-bounce,

    Off went the guns.

    Great was the crying,

    Running and riding,

    Which at that season

    Was made at that place;

    Then beacons were firèd,

    As need was requirèd;

    To hide their great treasure,

    They had little space:

    “Alas!” they cryèd,

    “English men comes.”

    There you might see the ships,

    How they were firèd fast,

    And how the men drown’d

    Themselves in the sea;

    There you may hear them cry,

    Wail and weep piteously;

    When as they saw no shift

    To escape thence away.

    Dub a-dub, etc.

    The great Saint Philip,

    The pride of the Spaniards,

    Was burnt to the bottom,

    And sunk in the sea;

    But the Saint Andrew,

    And eke the Saint Matthew,

    We took in fight manfully,

    And brought them away.

    Dub a-dub, etc.

    The earl of Essex,

    Most valiant and hardy,

    With horsemen and footmen

    March’d towards the town;

    The enemies which saw them,

    Full greatly affrighted,

    Did fly for their safeguard,

    And durst not come down.

    Dub a-dub, etc.

    “Now,” quoth the noble earl,

    “Courage, my soldiers all!

    Fight and be valiant,

    And spoil you shall have;

    And well rewarded all,

    From the great to the small;

    But look that the women

    And children you save.”

    Dub a-dub, etc.

    The Spaniards at that sight,

    Saw ’t was in vain to fight,

    Hung up their flags of truce,

    Yielding the town;

    We march’d in presently,

    Decking the walls on high

    With our English colours,

    Which purchas’d renown.

    Dub a-dub, etc.

    Ent’ring the houses then,

    And of the richest men,

    For gold and treasure

    We searchèd each day;

    In some places we did find

    Pye baking in the oven,

    Meat at the fire roasting,

    And men run away.

    Dub a-dub, etc.

    Full of rich merchandise,

    Every shop we did see,

    Damask and sattins

    And velvet full fair;

    Which soldiers measure out

    By the length of their swords:

    Of all commodities,

    Each one hath share.

    Dub a-dub, etc.

    Thus Cales was taken,

    And our brave general

    March’d to the market-place,

    There he did stand;

    There many prisoners

    Of good account were took;

    Many crav’d mercy,

    And mercy they found.

    Dub a-dub, etc.

    When as our general

    Saw they delayèd time,

    And would not ransom

    The town as they said,

    With their fair wainscots,

    Their presses and bedsteads,

    Their joint-stools and tables,

    A fire we made:

    And when the town burnt in a flame,

    With tan-ta-ra, tan-ta-ra-ra,

    From thence we came.