1805.12 - "The Battle of Trafalgar; October 21, 1805"

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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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1805.12
The Battle of Trafalgar;
October 21, 1805

“Nauticus"
The Gentleman's Magazine, LXXV (November 1805), pp. 1044-1045

Let others hail the rising sun!
I bow to that whose race is run.

'Twas noon, when England's gallant fleet
    The sails of France and Spain discern'd;
Or victory or death to meet
    Each British tar with ardour burn'd.

Destructive showers of bullets fly;
    The scuppers flow with streams of blood;
Harsh thunders rend the vaulted sky;
    Fierce lightnings blaze along the flood.

Undaunted NELSON foremost stands—
    The cause his Country's and his King's
When, lo! to aid the Gallic bands,
    From Hell malignant Envy springs.

In human guise, at length to stop
    The Hero's bright meridian fame,
From Santa Trinidada's top
    She takes, alas! too sure an aim.

Th' envenom'd shot deep-pierc'd his heart,
    A heart disdainful of all blows
By man directed:—But, what art
    Can guard against infernal foes?

Two Spanish crews with pride advance.
    The Temeraire seem'd nearly won;—
When Victory snatch'd the flags of France,
    And strew'd them o'er her favourite son.

The splendors of proud Gaul are past!
    Britannia mourns her NELSON'S fall.
E'en foes shall deck his grave:—THEIR MAST
    HIS COFFIN, AND THEIR FLAGS HIS PALL.

Chelsea.


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September 2004

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