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NEPTUNE'S RESIGNATION 219
The winds, obsequious at his word, Sprung strongly up t' obey their lord,
And saw two fleets a-weigh : The one, victorious Hawke, was thine ; The other, Conflans' wretched line,
In terror and dismay.
Appal'd, they view Britannia's sons Deal death and slaughter from their guns,
And strike the deadly blow, Which caused ill-fated Gallic slaves To find a tomb in briny waves,
And sink to shades below.
With speed they fly and tell their chief That France was ruin'd past relief,
And Hawke triumphant rode.
' Hawke !' cry'd the fair, ' pray who is he That dare usurp this power at sea,
And thus insult a god ?'
The winds reply : ' In distant lands
There reigns a king who Hawke commands;
He scorns all foreign force; And when his floating castles roll, From sea to sea, from pole to pole,
Great Hawke directs their course.
' Or when his winged bullets fly To punish fraud and perfidy,
Or scourge a guilty land, Then gallant Hawke, serenely great, Tho' death and horror round him wait,
Performs his dread command !'
Neptune with wonder heard the story Of George's sway and Britain's glory,
Which time shall ne'er subdue ; Boscawen's deeds, and Saunders' fame, Join'd with brave Wolfe's immortal name,
Then cry'd, ' Can this be true ?
' A king ! he sure must be a god ! Who has such heroes at his nod,
To govern earth and sea! I yield my trident and my crown, A tribute due to such renown !
Great George shall rule for me !'