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ON BOARD THE CUMBERLAND. 103
Our forward magazine was drowned ;
And up from the sick bay Crawled out the wounded, red with blood,
And round us gasping lay.
Yes, cheering, calling us by name,
Struggling with failing breath, To keep their shipmates at the post
Where glory strove with death.
With decks afloat, and powder gone,
The last broadside we gave From the guns' heated iron-lips
Burst out beneath the wave.
So sponges, rammers, and handspikes —
As men-of-war's-men should — We placed within their proper racks,
And at our quarters stood.
" Up to the spar-deck ! save yourselves ! " Cried Selfridge. " Up, my men !
God grant that some of us may live To fight yon ship again ! "
We turned — we did not like to go; Yet staying seemed but vain,