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British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

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1797.3
Mutiny at Portsmouth
Anon
The Morning Post (April 25, 1797)
The Courier (April 25, 1797)

The following is a popular Song among the Fleet;

(Composed on Board His Majesty's Ship London)

                           By the

                 Widow of a Seaman,

Who lost his Life in the Defence of his Country,
on Board the Intrepid, in the present War.

 

The Genius of Britain went hovering round,
    For she fear'd that fair Freedom was fled,
But she found, to her joy, that she was not quite gone,
    But remain'd with the Fleet at Spithead.

Rejoic'd at the news, to the Charlotte she flew,
    Where fair Freedom, she heard, sat enthron'd,
They all mann'd the yards as the Goddess came in,
    For Britain and Freedom they own'd.

The Fleet hail'd the Goddess with three hearty
                            cheers,
    As she stood on the Charlotte's gangway,
She dropped a sad tear as she look'd on her Sons,
    Who so long neglected had lay.

She was led to the Cabin, fair Freedom was there,
    True Loyalty sat by her side,
Britannia sat down in a transport of joy,
    All hail to my Heroes, she cry'd.

Every ship of the line sent two Seamen so brave,
    Whom the Goddess receiv'd with a smile;
They assur'd her that, if they were treated like men,
    They would still guard her favourite Isle.

Go on my brave Sons in the steps you now tread,
    Be Virtue your guide and your guard;
And God, who rules over the Land and the Sea,
    Will honest endeavours reward.

The Genius of Ireland came in with her harp,
    She saluted fair Freedom with tears:
They all mann'd the yards to welcome her o'er,
    And ev'ry Ship gave her three cheers.

Success to the Seventeen united bright Stars,
    Let their praise echo round ev'ry shore.
And the 15th of April will ne'er be forgot,[1]
    Till Britain and Freedom're no more.

 

Notes

1. On this date the fleet at Spithead mutinied. Although some of their demands were met, a later more severe outbreak occurred in June at Nore which was suppressed by force.

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Published @ RC

September 2004