Naval Songs & Ballads - online book

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

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One morning, last July, at break' of the day, The French was descry'd in battle array: Brave Keppel, impatient to fight proud Monsieur, Directed his course and unto them drew near.
The French fleet to windward first gave a broadside. Augustus, undaunted, their great guns defy'd : His fleet, being mann'd with compleat British tars, Appal'd the Monsieur with the thunder of Mars. .
Aghast the pale French in dismay bore away; Our ships, being crippl'd, oblig'd us to stay, Main-sails, gallant royals, stay-sails to repair, That we might again re-attack the Monsieur.
This done, our commander the signal did make For the ships to the lee to come to his wake. Regardless of order, Sir Hugh Palliser Refus'd to obey, and kept back in the rear.
This gave the French time to retreat into Brest : But observe the sequel, which is a meer jest. As guilt is always [the] companion of fear, So mind the dark plan of Sir Hugh Palliser.
Assisted by Beelzebub, prince of old Styx, His infernal sire, the weapon he strikes; Himself to exculpate, the shaft he lets fly, Intending a sacrifice Keppel should die.
The plan was laid down, then the charge it was made, Augustus accused of being afraid To fight the Monsieurs, and of running away, And leaving the French fleet triumphant at sea.
But justice and Montague there did preside ; They found out the falsehood, his errors descry'd; The jury withdrew, for they all saw the cheat, Acquitted Augustus, because he was great.
This true son of Neptune, couragious and bold, Will fight for his king, and by him be controul'd; To minions in power he'll not be a slave, The French he'll chastize with a heart free and brave.