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Poem by Thomas Campbell
The Battle of the Baltic
Of Nelson and the North Sing the glorious day's renown, When to battle fierce came forth All the might of Denmark's crown, And her arms along the deep proudly shone; By each gun the lighted brand In a bold determined hand, And the Prince of all the land Led them on. Like leviathans afloat Lay their bulwarks on the brine, While the sign of battle flew On the lofty British line: It was ten of April morn by the chime: As they drifted on their path There was silence deep as death, And the boldest held his breath For a time. But the might of England flush'd To anticipate the scene; And her van the fleeter rush'd O'er the deadly space between: 'Hearts of oak!' our captains cried, when each gun From its adamantine lips Spread a death-shade round the ships, Like the hurricane eclipse Of the sun. Again! again! again! And the havoc did not slack, Till a feeble cheer the Dane To our cheering sent us back;— Their shots along the deep slowly boom:— Then ceased—and all is wail, As they strike the shatter'd sail, Or in conflagration pale Light the gloom. Out spoke the victor then As he hail'd them o'er the wave: 'Ye are brothers! ye are men! And we conquer but to save:— So peace instead of death let us bring: But yield, proud foe, thy fleet, With the crews, at England's feet, And make submission meet To our King.'... Now joy, old England, raise! For the tidings of thy might, By the festal cities' blaze, Whilst the wine-cup shines in light! And yet amidst that joy and uproar, Let us think of them that sleep Full many a fathom deep, By thy wild and stormy steep, Elsinore!
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