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72
The morn they look on with unwilling eyes,

Till from their maintop joyful news they hear
Of ships which by their mould bring new supplies
And in their colours Belgian lions bear.

73
Our watchful General had discerned from far

This mighty succour, which made glad the foe;
He sighed, but, like a father of the war,
His face spake hope, while deep his sorrows flowm.

74
His wounded men he first sends off to shore,

Never till now unwilling to obey:
They not their wounds but want of strength deplore

And think them happy who with him can stay.

75

Then to the rest, “Rejoice,' said he, "to-day !

'In you the fortune of Great Britain lies; * Among so brave a people you are they

“Whom Heaven has chose to fight for such a prize.

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'If number English courages could quell,

"We should at first have shunned, not met our foes,
« Whose numerous sails the fearful only tell ;
Courage from hearts and not from numbers grows.'

77
He said, nor needed more to say: with haste

To their known stations cheerfully they go;
And all at once, disdaining to be last,
Solicit every gale to meet the foe. ..

78
Nor did the encouraged Belgians long delay,

But bold in others, not themselves, they stood :
So thick, our navy scarce could sheer their way,

But seemed to wander in a moving wood.
m Spem vultu simulat, premit altum corde dolorem.'

VIRG. (Æn. ii. 213.]

79 Our little fleet was now engaged so far

That like the sword-fish in the whale they fought; The combat only seemed a civil war,

Till through their bowels we our passage wrought.

80 Never had valour, no, not ours before

Done aught like this upon the land or main; Where not to be o'ercome was to do more

Than all the conquests former Kings did gain.

81

The mighty ghosts of our great Harrys rose,

And armed Edwards looked with anxious eyes, To see this fleet among unequal foes, By which Fate promised them their Charles should

rise.

82

Meantime the Belgians tack upon our rear,
And raking chase-guns through our sterns they

send;
Close by, their fire-ships like jackals appear

Who on their lions for the prey attend.

83

Silent in smoke of cannon they come on:

Such vapours once did fiery Cacus hiden:
In these the height of pleased revenge is shown

Who burn contented by another's side.

84

Sometimes from fighting squadrons of each fleet,

Deceived themselves or to preserve some friend, Two grappling Ætnas on the ocean meet And English fires with Belgian flames contend,

* • Ille autem.' [Virg. Æn. viii. 251.]

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85

Now at each tack our little fleet grows less;

And, like maimed fowl, swim lagging on the main; Their greater loss their numbers scarce confess, While they lose cheaper than the English gain.

86 Have you not seen when, whistled from the fist,

Some falcon stoops at what her eye designed, And, with her eagerness the quarry missed,

Straight flies at check and clips it down the wind;

87

The dastard crow, that to the wood made wing

And sees the groves no shelter can afford, With her loud caws her craven kind does bring, Who, safe in numbers, cuff the noble bird.

88
Among the Dutch thus Albemarle did fare: ,

He could not conquer and disdained to fly:
Past hope of safety, 'twas his latest care,
Like falling Cæsar, decently to die.

89
Yet pity did his manly spirit move,

To see those perish who so well had fought; And generously with his despair he strove, Resolved to live till he their safety wrought.

90 Let other muses write his prosperous fate,

Of conquered nations tell and kings restored; But mine shall sing of his eclipsed estate, Which, like the sun's, more wonders does afford.

91 He drew his mighty frigates all before,

On which the foe his fruitless force employs; His weak ones deep into his rear he bore

Remote from guns, as sick men from the noise.

92

His fiery cannon did their passage guide,

And following smoke obscured them from the foe; Thus Israel, safe from the Egyptian's pride, By flaming pillars and by clouds did go.

93 Elsewhere the Belgian force we did defeat,

But here our courages did theirs subdue; So Xenophon once led that famed retreat Which first the Asian empire overthrew.

94 The foe approached; and one for his bold sin

Was sunk, as he that touched the Ark was slain: The wild waves mastered him and sucked him in,

And smiling eddies dimpled on the main.

95

This seen, the rest at awful distance stood :

As if they had been there as servants set To stay or to go on, as he thought good, And not pursue, but wait on his retreat.

96 So Libyan huntsmen on some sandy plain,

From shady coverts roused, the lion chase: The kingly beast roars out with loud disdain,

And slowly moves, unknowing to give place o.

97 But if some one approach to dare his force,'

He swings his tail and swiftly turns him round, With one paw seizes on his trembling horse,

And with the other tears him to the ground.

• The simile is Virgil's : •Vestigia retro improperata refert.' [More fully and correctly :

• Haud aliter retro dubius vestigia Turnus
Improperata refert, et mens exæstuat ira.'

Æn. ix. 797.]

98
Amidst these toils succeeds the balmy night;

Now hissing waters the quenched guns restore :
And weary waves P, withdrawing from the fight,
Lie lulled and panting on the silent shore.

99
The moon shone clear on the becalmed flood,

Where, while her beams like glittering silver play,
Upon the deck our careful General stood,

And deeply mused on the succeeding day 9.

“That happy sun,' said he, 'will rise again,

Who twice victorious did our navy see,
And I alone must view him rise in vain,

Without one ray of all his star for me.

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'Yet like an English general will I die,

And all the ocean make my spacious grave:
Women and cowards on the land may lie;
The sea's a tomb that's proper for the brave.'

102
Restless he passed the remnants of the night,

Till the fresh air proclaimed the morning nigh;
And burning ships, the martyrs of the fight,
With paler fires beheld the eastern sky.

103
But now, his stores of ammunition spent,

His naked valour is his only guard ;
Rare thunders are from his dumb cannon sent

And solitary guns are scarcely heard.

Third day.

p Weary waves, from Statius :

* Nec trucibus fluviis idem sonus : occidit horror
Æquoris, et terris maria acclinata quiescunt.'

[Sylv. v. 4, 5.] 9 The 3rd of June, famous for two former victories.

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