Ye seamen and ye landsmen all,
Ye mothers and widows too:
Attend unto my story,
About the Hornet's crew.
2. She sail'd from New York harbour,
Bound to the Spanish Main;
There to protect our commerce,
But ne'er returned again.
3. She convoy'd many vessels,
And was the pirate's dread;
Still more than death they hated
The Hornet's boats, 'tis said.
4. For NORRIS, her commander,
Would send his gallant men,
To scour the coast by sea and land,
And find each pirate's den.
5. Our merchants they protected,
And their little gain
They snatch'd, with brave exertion,
From the hands of Spain.
6. Our merchants they protected,
And would have brought them home,
But, ah! her brave commander,
Knew not the Hornet's doom.
7. On the tenth day of September,
She off Tampico lay;
And many well remember,
The gale that blew that day.
8. She had to slip her cables,
She had to put to sea;
That deadly blast, it is the last,
Brother, I'll hear from thee.
9. The widow's heart is breaking,
Hope no more can charm;
The mother's heart is aching,
And love, why her alarm.
10. She sees the proud ship sinking,
Beneath the hungry wave;
Her love death's cup is drinking,
She shrieks, but cannot save.
11. "My Henry was on board of her,"
The weeping mother cries;
"He was my youngest, dearest son,
The one I most did prize.
12. He was too proud to stoop or crawl,
To men of low degree;
He lost his fortune on the land,
And sought it on the sea.
13. But he is dead, the gallant boy,
And why should I repine?
There's many a mother lost a son,
As proud and fair as mine.
14. And many a blooming youthful bride,
With her infant at her breast,
Sheds o'er the orphan child a tear,
And feels as much distress'd."
15. The Hornet's lost, the good and brave
Are in the ocean deep;
No arm was nigh her crew to save,
She sank! and thousands weep.
16. In Congress now we must repose,
Our only hope, to gain,
A remedy, though small, for those,
Who lost all on the main.