Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

3 Centuries Of Naval History In Shanties & Sea Songs With Lyrics & Notes

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Easter Hymns

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
first and the second had been, but rather the out­come of a diplomatic intrigue, and excited less public interest. It is represented in this collection by two ballads only, one on the battle of Solebay on May 28, 1672, the other on the capture of a Dutch frigate by an English one in 1674 (pp. 82, 83-6). On the other hand, the war produced a small crop of elegies on the officers who fell in different engagements. The fashion began in the first war. There is an elegy on Captain Henry Terne of the Triumph, killed in the four days' battle in June 1666. Similarly there is an Elegy on that grand Example of Loyalty, Valour, and Conduct, Sir Edward Spragge, unfortunately drowned {after incomparable proof of heroic gallantry) in the late engagement with the Dutch, August n, 1673. We have also English Iliads, or a Sea-Eight reviewed, in a Poem occasioned by the death of a Person of Honour slain in the late War (Lord Maidstone, killed in the battle of Southwold Bay). Captain Francis Digby, who fell in the same battle, became more famous in ballads. Dryden wrote a song beginning ' Farewell, fair Armida, my joy and my grief,' which was meant to represent Digby's farewell to the Duchess of Richmond, with whom he was passionately in love. This was expanded into a popular ballad entitled Love and Honour (Roxburghe Ballads, vi. 36). Another ballad-writer produced a supplement, The sorrowful Ladies Complaint, relating how a Damosel lamenteth the loss of her Lover, who behaved himself very valiantly in a late engagement at sea, but was unfortunately slain (ib. iv. 397). An abbreviated version of this, entitled The Drowned Lover, was still sung a few years ago (Baring Gould, Songs of the West, 4th edition, p. xxiii).
Usually these elegies are rhetorical exercises of very little interest, but that on The Death of the
b 2