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278 SONGS AND BALLADS
The reason unto you I now will relate :
We resolved to refuse the purser's short weight;
Our humble petition to Lord Howe we sent,
That he to the Admiralty write to present
Our provisions and wages that they might augment. ■
But soon, to our grief, as you shall understand, They refused to comply with our humble demand; Although to the Army they granted more pay, While we sons of Neptune neglected did lay. But the 15th of April soon roused them straightway.
Then each son of Neptune took their oath without dread,
Until redress was obtained not to sail from Spithead ;
Two tars from each ship of the line did appear
On board the Queen Charlotte without dread or fear,
While the ships manned their yards with a thundering loud cheer.
Billy Pitt and Dundas soon heard of the news. They fell in a rage, and the tars did abuse; They sent for Lord Spencer and unto him did say : ' For Portsmouth, my Lord, and make no delay, For the mutinous tars refuse to obey.'
Lord Spencer unto us these words did express : ' Your grievance, my lads, shall soon be redress; Full provisions we have granted and a shilling a day.' We trusted their honour, and our anchors did weigh, But the wind coming west, at St. Helens we did lay.
Now Providence, resolved we should not be oppressed, For a fortnight or more kept the wind at south-west; During which time, to our great surprize, The Act was not passed to grant us supplies, But Bedford and Clarence did open our eyes.
When we found from their.promise they meant for to run, We resolved to force them before we had done. When the signal was made for sea to repair, We then did refuse with another loud cheer, Which made our proud rulers to quake and to fear.
The murdering Colpoys, Vice-Admiral of the blue,
Gave order to fire on the London ship's crew ;
While the enemy of Britain was ploughing the sea,
He, like a base coward, let them get away
When the French and their transports sailed for Bantry Bay.