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Fur I fun', when 'er back wer turn'd, wheer Sally's owd stockin' wur 'id, An' I grabb'd the munny she maäde, and I weär'd it o' liquor, I did.
An' one night I cooms 'oäm like a bull gotten loose at a faäir,
An' she wur a-waäitin' fo’mma, an' cryin' and teärin' 'er 'aäir,
An' I tummled athurt the craädle an' sweär'd as I'd breäk ivry stick O' furnitur 'ere i' the 'ouse, an' I gied our Sally a kick,
An' I mash'd the taäbles an' chairs, an' she an' the babby beäl'd,3 Fur I knaw'd naw moor what I did nor a mortal beäst o' the feäld.
An' when I waäked i' the murnin' I seeäd that our Sally went laämed
Cos' o' the kick as I gied 'er, an' I wur dreädful ashaämed; An' Sally wur sloomy an' draggie taäil'd in an owd turn gown, An' the babby's faäce wurn't wesh'd an' the 'ole 'ouse hupside down.
3 Bellowed, cried out. 4 Sluggish, out of spirits
'That caps owt,' says Sally, an' saw she begins to cry,
But I puts it inter 'er 'ands an' I says to 'er, Sally,' says I,
'Stan' 'im theer, i' the naäme o' the Lord an' the power ov 'is Graäce,
Stan' 'im theer fur I'll looök my hennemy straït i' the faäce,
Stan' 'im theer i' the winder, an' let ma looök at 'im then,
An' some on 'em said it wur watter -an I wur chousin' the wife,
Fur I couldn't 'owd 'ands off gin, wur it nobbut to saäve my life;
An' blacksmith 'e strips me the thick ov 'is airm, an' 'e shaws it to me, "Feëal thou this! thou can't graw this epo' watter!' says he.
An' Doctor 'e calls o' Sunday an' just as candles was lit,
'Thou moänt do it,' he says, 'tha mun break 'im off bit by bit.' 'Thou'rt but a Methody-man,' says ParSo, and laäys down 'is 'at,
An' 'e 'points to the bottle o' gin, but I especks tha fur that;'
An' Squire, his oän very sen, walks down fro' the 'All to see,
An' 'e spanks 'is 'and into mine, 'fur I respecks tha,' says 'e;
An' coostom ageän draw'd in like a wind fro' far an' wide,
And browt me the booöts to be cobbled fro' hafe the coontryside.
A BALLAD OF THE FLEET. I.
AT FLORES in the Azores Sir Richard Grenville lay,
And a pinnace, like a flutter'd bird, came flying from far away:
Spanish ships of war at sea! we have sighted fifty-three!' Then sware Lord Thomas Howard: "Fore God I am no coward; But I cannot meet them here, for my ships are out of gear,
And the half my men are sick. I must fly, but follow quick. We are six ships of the line; can we fight with fifty-three?'
Then spake Sir Richard Grenville: 'I know you are no coward; You fly them for a moment to fight with them again.
1 A pudding made with the first milk of the cow after calving.
But I've ninety men and more that are lying sick ashore.
I should count myself the coward if I left them, my Lord Howard, To these Inquisition dogs and the devildoms of Spain.'
So Lord Howard past away with five ships of war that day,
Till he melted like a cloud in the silent summer heaven;
But Sir Richard bore in hand all his sick men from the land
Very carefully and slow,
Men of Bideford in Devon,
And we laid them on the ballast down below;
For we brought them all aboard,
And they blest him in their pain, that they were not left to Spain, To the thumbscrew and the stake, for the glory of the Lord.
He had only a hundred seamen to work the ship and to fight,
And he sailed away from Flores till the Spaniard came in sight,
With his huge sea-castles heaving upon the weather bow.
'Shall we fight or shall we fly? Good Sir Richard, tell us now, For to fight is but to die!
There'll be little of us left by the time this sun be set.'
And Sir Richard said again: 'We be all good English men.
Let us bang these dogs of Seville, the children of the devil,
For I never turn'd my back upon Don or devil yet.'
Sir Richard spoke and he laugh'd, and we roar'd a hurrah, and so
The little Revenge ran on sheer into the heart of the foe, With her hundred fighters on deck, and her ninety sick below;
For half of their fleet to the right and half to the left were seen, And the little Revenge ran on thro' the long sea-lane between.
Thousands of their soldiers look'd down from their decks and laugh'd, Thousands of their seamen made mock at the mad little craft Running on and on, till delay'd By their mountain-like San Philip that, of fifteen hundred tons, And up-shadowing high above us with her yawning tiers of guns, Took the breath from our sails, and we stay'd.
And while now the great San Philip
Four galleons drew away
And the battle-thunder broke from them all.
But anon the great San Philip, she bethought herself and went
Having that within her womb that had left her ill content;
And the rest they came aboard us, and they fought us hand to hand,
For a dozen times they came with their pikes and musqueteers,
And a dozen times we shook 'em off as a dog that shakes his ears When he leaps from the water to the land.
And the sun went down, and the stars came out far over the summer sea, But never a moment ceased the fight of the one and the fifty-three. Ship after ship, the whole night long, their high-built galleons came, Ship after ship, the whole night long, with her battle-thunder and flame;
Ship after ship, the whole night long drew back with her dead and her shame.
For some were sunk and many were shatter'd, and so could fight us no
God of battles, was ever a battle like this in the world before?
For he said Fight on! fight on!' Tho' his vessel was all but a wreck; And it chanced that, when half of the short summer night was gone, With a grisly wound to be drest he had left the deck,
But a bullet struck him that was dressing it suddenly dead,
And himself he was wounded again in the side and the head,
And he said Fight on! fight on!'
And the night went down, and the sun smiled out far over the summer sea, And the Spanish fleet with broken sides lay round us all in a ring;
But they dared not touch us again, for they fear'd that we still could sting,
So they watch'd what the end would be. And we had not fought them in vain, But in perilous plight were we,
Seeing forty of our poor hundred were slain,
And half of the rest of us maim'd for life In the crash of the cannonades and the desperate strife;
And the sick men down in the hold were most of them stark and cold, And the pikes were all broken or bent, and the powder was all of it spent; And the masts and the rigging were lying over the side;
But Sir Richard cried in his English pride, 'We have fought such a fight for a day and a night
As may never be fought again!
At sea or ashore,
We die - does it matter when?