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xxxvi SONGS AND BALLADS
noble Knight, Sir John Harman, who died October r i, 1673, contains an account of his career which deserves quotation : .
Britannia, Queen of the Ocean, bade me write Something memorial of this Noble Knight, It must be Great, or nothing, Nay, said I, Let Homers then, or Virgils Poetry Record his deeds. ' Tis not for meaner things To speak or think of Admirals or Kings.
When first in youth some voyages he made, To prosecute Experience or Trade, His worth disclos'd itself, and made men see, None was more English Mariner than he. • Though hearty, sturdy Oak our ships do frame, Our Seamen too (if rightly stamp'd) the same, And such was this well-timber'd man, be sure, That such hard storms and bickerings could endure.
When British Seas and Honour were assail'd
By Belgian Rivals ; when the Plague prevail'd
At home ; by which when most Men's Courage fail'd
He snatched some men from Death's Commands, and
Man'd The Royal Charles, by Royal Charles Command ;
Next year was Sixty-six, (that fatal Time
When Londons old Foundations burnt to Lime)
Rear Admiral of the White he then appear'd
And by his foes he made his Henry fear'd.
Three Etnas did at once beset Her round
Some of her men were Burnt, and some were Drown'd :
Yet then (as if he did both Elements scoff)
He fought his way, and brought her bravely off.
His Leg (but not his Courage) broke ; and then
He sympathized with his maimed men.
Knighted, and Admiral made in sixty-seven,
With Fire Ships Two, and Fighting Ships Eleven,
T'America he steers, and did such Feats
Dull Europeans will believe us Cheats