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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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1803.6
The Voice of the British Isles
Anon
The European Magazine, XLIV (August 1803), pp. 137-138
The Gentleman's Magazine, LXXIII (July 1803), p. 666

To the Tune of "Hearts of Oak."

                                I.

Away, my brave boys! haste away to the shore;
Our foes, the base French, boast they're straight
                        coming o'er,
To murder, and plunder, and ravish; and burn—
Let them come—we'll take care they shall never
                           return:
    For around all our shores, hark! the notes
                         loudly ring,
        United, we're ready,
        Steady, boys, steady,
    To fight for our Liberty, Laws, and our King.

                                II.

They boast in the dark they will give us the slip;
The attempt may procure them a dangerous dip:
Our bold tars are watching in Ocean's green lap,
To give them a long Jacobinical nap.[1]
    But should they steal over, with one voice we'll
                              sing,
       United, we're ready, &c.

                               III.

They knew that, UNITED, we sons of the waves
Would ne'er bow to Frenchmen, nor grovel like slaves;
So, ere they durst venture to touch on our strand,
They sent black Sedition to poison our land,
    But around all our shores now the notes loudly
                              ring,
        United, we're ready, &c.

                               IV.

They swore we were slaves, were all lost and undone,
That a Jacobin nostrum, as sure as a gun,
Would make us all equal, and happy, and free,
'Twas only to dance round their Liberty's tree.
    No! No! round our shores let the notes loudly
                              ring,
        United, we're ready, &c.

                                 V.

'Twas only to grant them the kiss call'd fraternal,
A kiss which all Europe has found most infernal;
And then they maintain'd the effect could not miss—
We should all be as blest as the DUTCH and the SWISS!
    No! no! round our shores let the notes loudly
                              ring,
        United, we're ready, &c.

                                VI.

With lies, and with many a Gallican wile,
They spread their dire poison o'er Erin's green isle;
But now each Shillalah is ready to thwack,
And baste the lean ribs of the Gallican Quack.
All around Erin's shores, hark! the notes loudly
                             ring,
        United, we're ready, &c.

                               VII.

Stout Sandy, our brother, with heart and with hand,
And his well-tried Claymore, joins the patriot band.
Now JACK, PAT, and SANDY, thus cordial agree,
We sons of the waves shall forever be free,
    While around all our shores, hark! the notes loudly
                             ring,
        United, we're ready, &c.

                              VIII.

As they could not deceive, they now threaten to pour
Their hosts on our land, to lay waste and devour;
To drench our fair fields and our cities in gore,
Nor cease to destroy till Britannia's no more.
    Let them come if they dare—hark! the notes loudly
                             ring,
        United, we're ready, &c.

                               IX.

My sweet rosy Nan is a true British wife,
And loves her dear Jack as she loves her own life;
Yet she girds on my sword, and smiles while I glow,
To meet the proud French, and to lay their heads low:
    And chaunts 'tween each buss, while the notes loudly
                            ring,
        My Jack! thou art ready:
        Steady, boy, steady,
    Go! fight for thy Liberty, Laws, and thy King.

                               X.

And Ned, my brave lad, with a true British heart,
Has forsaken his plough, has forsaken his cart;
E'en Dolly has quitted, to dig in a trench,
All, all, for the sake of a cut at the French;
    While he sings all day long, let the notes loudly
                           ring,
        I'm ready! I'm ready!
        Steady, boys, steady,
    To fight for my Liberty, Laws, and my King!

                               XI.

Away, then, my boys! haste away to the shore,
Our foes, the base French, boast they're straight
                       coming o'er,
To murder, and plunder, and ravish, and burn—
They may come—but, by Jove! they shall never return;
    For around all our shores, hark! the notes loudly
                            ring,
        United, we're ready,
        Steady, boys, steady,
    To fight for our Liberty, Laws, and our King!


Notes

1. [Author's note]: "'Death is an eternal sleep.'—Vide Robespierre's Decree."

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September 2004

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