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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. The Book of Georgian Verse. 1909.

The Arethusa

Prince Hoare (1755–1834)

COME, all ye jolly sailors bold,

Whose hearts are cast in honour’s mould,

While English glory I unfold,

Huzza for the Arethusa!

She is a frigate tight and brave,

As ever stemmed the dashing wave;

Her men are staunch

To their fav’rite launch,

And when the foe shall meet our fire,

Sooner than strike, we’ll all expire

On board of the Arethusa.

’Twas with the spring fleet she went out

The English Channel to cruise about,

When four French sail, in show so stout

Bore down on the Arethusa.

The famed Belle Poule straight ahead did lie,

The Arethusa seemed to fly,

Not a sheet, or a tack,

Or a brace, did she slack;

Though the Frenchmen laughed and thought it stuff,

But they knew not the handful of men, how tough,

On board of the Arethusa.

On deck five hundred men did dance,

The stoutest they could find in France;

We, with two hundred did advance

On board of the Arethusa.

Our captain hailed the Frenchman, ‘Ho!’

The Frenchman then cried out ‘Hallo!’

‘Bear down, d’ye see,

To our Admiral’s lee!’

‘No, no,’ says the Frenchman, ‘that can’t be!’

‘Then I must lug you along with me,’

Says the saucy Arethusa.

The fight was off the Frenchman’s land,

We forced them back upon their strand,

For we fought till not a stick could stand

Of the gallant Arethusa.

And now we’ve driven the foe ashore

Never to fight with Britons more,

Let each fill his glass

To his fav’rite lass;

A health to our captain and officers true,

And all that belong to the jovial crew

On board of the Arethusa.