Obrazy na stronie

173: Holmes, the Achates of the general's fight;

Who first bewitch'd our eyes with Guinea gold: As once old Cato in the Roman fight The tempting fruits of Afric did unfold.

174. With him went Sprag, as bountiful as brave, Whom his high courage to command had

brought : Harman, who did the twice-fir'd Harry save, And in his burning ship undaunted fought.

175. Young Hollis on a muse by Mars begot,

Born, Cæsar like, to write and act great deeds : Impatient to revenge his fatal shot, His right hand doubly to his left succeeds.

176. Thousands were there in darker fame that dwell, Whose deeds some nobler


shall adorn : And though to me unknown, they sure fought well, Whom Rupert led, and who were British born.

177 Of every size an hundred fighting fail :

So vast the navy now at anchor rides, That underneath it the press'd waters fail,

And with its weight it shoulders off the tides.

178. Now anchors weigh'd the seamen shout fo fhrill,

That heaven and earth and the wide ocean rings: A breeze from westward waits their fails to fill, And rests in those high beds his downy wings.

179. The wary Dutch this gathering storm foresaw,

And durft not bide it on the English coast : Behind their treacherous shallows they withdraw,

And there lay fnares to catch the British hoft.


So the false spider, when her nets are spread,

Deep ambulh'd in her filent den does lie: And feels far off the trembling of her thread, Whose filmy cord hould bind the struggling fly.

181. Then if at last she find him fast beset,

She issues forth and runs along her loom : She joys to touch the captive in her net, And drag the little wretch in triumph home.

182. The Belgians hop'd, that with disorder'd haste,

Our deep-cut keels upon the sands might run : Or if with caution leisurely were paft,

Their numerous gross might charge us one by


183. But with a fore-wind pushing them above,

And swelling tide that heav'd them from below, O’er the blind flats our warlike squadrons move, And with spread fails to welcome battle


184. It seem'd as there the British Neptune stood,

With all his hofts of waters at command, Beneath them to submit the officious flood ; And with his trident shov'd them off the sand.

185. To the pale foes they suddenly draw near,

And summon them to unexpected fight: They start like murderers when ghosts appear, And draw their curtains in the dead of night.

186. Now van to van the foremost squadrons meet, The midmost battles hastning up

behind : Who view far off the storm of falling-leet, And hear their thunder rattling in the wind.

187. At length the adverse admirals appear ; The two bold champions of each country's

right: Their eyes describe the lists as they come near,

And draw the lines of death before they fight.

188. The distance judg’d for shot of every size,

The linstocs touch, the ponderous ball expires : The vigorous seaman every port-hole plies, And adds his heart to every gun he fires!

189. Fierce was the fight on the proud Belgians side,

For honor, which they seldom sought before : But now they by their own vain boasts were ty’d, And forc'd at least in shew to prize it more.

190. But sharp remembrance on the English part,

And shame of being match'd by such a foe,
Rouze conscious virtue


And seeming to be stronger makes them fo.

Nor long the Belgians could that fleet sustain,

Which did two generals fates, and Cæsar's bear : Each several ship a victory did gain, As Rupert or as Albemarle were there.

192. Their batter'd admiral too soon withdrew,

Unthank'd by ours for his unfinish'd fight : But he the minds of his Dutch masters knew, Who call’d that providence which we call'd


[ocr errors]

Never did men more joyfully obey,

Or sooner understood the sign to fly :
With such alacrity they bore away,
As if to praise them, all the states stood by.

O famous leader of the Belgian fleet,

Thy monument inscrib'd such praise shall wear, As Varro timely flying once did meet, Because he did not of his Rome despair.

195. Behold that


which a while before, Provok'd the tardy English close toʻfight ; Now draw their beaten vessels close to shore, As larks lie dar'd to shun the hobbies flight.

196. Whoe'er would English monuments survey,

In other records may our courage know : But let them hide the story of this day, Whose fame was blemish'd by too base a foe.

Or if too busily they will enquire

Into a victory, which we disdain ;
Then let them know the Belgians did retire

Before the patron saint of injur'd Spain.


« PoprzedniaDalej »