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202 SONGS AND BALLADS
Before the fleet they all did sail,
From Spithead to St. Helens, boys,
With a fine and pleasant gale.
And when to St. Helens, boys, we came,
The wind at west was very high;
Sir Edward Hawke hove out his signal,
For to come to anchor that very night.
Sir Edward he hove out another signal,
For the captain's boat to come with speed,
It was for to turn over fifty hands,
On board of the Ipswich indeed.
And when alongside of the Ipswich we came,
I boldly in her jump'd in :
And a-cruizing the Channel I went in her,
And the French dogs we did sweetly trim.
We'd not been out above six weeks
Before the news to' us was brought :
Then to take, sink, burn, and destroy
All the French ships we came athwart.
It happen'd on a Sunday morning,
As we was on our starboard tack,
Between the hours of nine and ten,
Three sail of Frenchmen we did take.
We fir'd a shot and hoisted our colours,
Then to let them see what we was;
As soon as they came along side us
They saw we was English boys,
Then straitway they haul'd down their colours,
And unto us they did strike;
And they know'd that they must sink,
If they had offer'd for to fight.
We took five more, which made us eight,
And away to Spithead, boys, we went.
And.now, my lads, we're come to an harbour,
We can go to rest with great content.
So all young men that row in the lighters
Keep yourselves free from a press-gang,
And when ever you come athwart old W------d
For my sake give him a hearty damn.