Songs Of The Soldiers(Union) - online songbook

150+ Song Lyrics Notes & Illustrations, By Frank Moore

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100 ON BOARD TEE CUMBERLAND.
And where it falls, the deck it strikes Is covered with disgrace.
" I ask but this : or sink or swim,
Or live or nobly die, My last sight upon earth may be
To see that ensign fly !"
Meanwhile the shapeless iron mass
Came moving o'er the wave, As gloomy as a passing hearse,
As silent as the grave.
Her ports were closed ; from stem to stern
No sign of life appeared. We wondered, questioned, strained our eyes,
Joked everything but feared.
She reached our range. Our broadside rang,
Our heavy pivots roared ; And shot and shell, a fire of hell,
Against her sides we poured.
God's mercy! from her sloping roof
The iron tempest glanced, As hail bounds from a cottage-thatch,
And round her leaped and danced;