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song LXIII.


G H O S T. *


Tune, Come and listen to my ditty.


S near Porto-Bello lying

On the gently-swelling flood,
At midnight, with streamers flying,

Our triumphant navy rode;
There while Vernon fate all-glorious

From the Spaniards late defeat,
And his crews, with shouts victorious,

Drank success to Englands fleet,

On a sudden, Thrilly sounding,

Hideous yells and shrieks were heard ;
Then, each heart with fear confounding,

A fad troop of ghosts appear'd;
All in dreary hammocks shrouded,

Which for winding-sheets they wore,
And, with looks by forrow clouded,

Frowning on that hostile fhore.

* These elegant stanzas were written (chiefly, perhaps, with a design to incense the public against the maladministration of fir Robert Walpole) on the taking of Porto-Bello, from the Spaniards, by admiral Vernon, in 1739. The circumstances attending the death of admiral Hofier, which happened in those parts, 1726, are recorded in history nearly in the same manner as they are represented in the song.


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On them gleam'd the moons wan lustre,

When the shade of Hofier brave
His pale bands was seen to muster,

Rising from their wat’ry grave:
O'er the glimmering wave he hied him,

Where the Burford rear'd her fail,
With three thousand ghosts beside him,

And in groans did Vernon hail.

Heed, oh! heed our fatal story;

I am Hofiers injur'd ghoft;
You who now have purchas'd glory

At this place where I was lost,
Though in Porto-Bellos ruin

You now triumph, free from fears,
When you think on my undoing,

You will mix your joys with tears.

See these mournful spectres, sweeping

Ghaftly o'er this hated wave,
Whose wan cheeks are staind with weeping;

These were English captains brave:
Mark those numbers, pale and horrid,

Who were once my sailors bold;
Lo! each hangs his drooping forehead,

While his dismal tale is told.

I, by twenty fail attended,

Did this Spanish town affright,
Nothing then its wealth defended,

But my orders, not to fight:



Oh! that in this rolling ocean

I had cast them with disdain,
And obey'd my hearts warm motion

To have quell'd the pride of Spain.

For resistance I could fear none,

But with twenty fhips had done
What thou, brave and happy Vernon,

Haft atchiev'd with fix alone.
'Then the Bastimentos never

Had our foul dishonour seen,
Mor the sea the fad receiver

of this gallant train had been.

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Thus, like thee, proud Spain dismaying,

And her galleons leading home,
Though, condemnd for disobeying,

I had met a traitors doom ;
To have fall’n, my country crying,

He has play'd an English part,
Had been better far than dying

Of a griev'd and broken heart.

Unrepining at thy glory,

Thy successful arms we hail;
But remember our sad story,

And let Hofiers wrongs prevail.
Sent in this foul clime to languish,

Think 'what thousands fell in vain,
Wafted with disease and anguish,

Not in glorious battle lain.


Hence with all my train attending

From their oozy tombs below,
Through the hoary foam afcending,

Here I feed my constant woe :
Here the Bastimentos viewing,

We recall our shameful doom,
And, our plaintive cries renewing,

Wander through the midnight gloom.

O’er these waves, for ever mourning,

Shall we roam, depriv'd of rest,
If, to Britains shores returning,

You neglect my just request:
After this proud foe subduing,

When your patriot friends you see,
Think on vengeance for my ruin,

And for England - ham'd in me.

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C Α Ρ Τ Α Ι Ν D Ε Α Τ Η. *


HE mufe and the hero together are fir'de

The same noble views have their bofoms inspird ;
As freedom they love, and for glory contend,
The muse o'er the hero ftill mourns as a friend :
And here let the muse her poor tribute bequeath
To one British hero,--?tis brave captain Death!

* Written, as it is said, by one of his surviving crew.

N 2



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His frip was the Terrible, dreadfal to fee!
His crew were as brave, and as gallant as he;
Two hundred, or more, was their good complement,
And sure braver felows to sea never went :
Each man was determin'd to spend his last breath
In fighting for Britain, and brave captain Death.

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A prize they had taken diminish'd their force,
And icon the good prize-ship was loft in her course:
The French privateer * and the Terrible met;-
The battle begun,-all with horror beset :
No heart was dismay'd,-each as bold as Macbeth ;-
They fought for Old England, and brave captain Death

Fire, thunder, balls, bullets, were feen, heard, and felt;
A light that the heart of Bellona would melt!
The shrouds were all torn, and the decks fill'd with blood,
And scores of dead bodies were thrown in the flood :-
The flood, from the days of old Noah and Seth,
Ne’er saw such a man as our brave captain Death.

At lait the dread bullet came wing'd with his fate,
Our brave captain dropp'd, -and soon after his mates

Called the Vengeance. The strange circumstance mentioned by some writers of one of the Terribles lieutenants being named Devil, the surgeon Ghost, and of her having been fitted out at Executigte dock, seems entirely void of foundation,


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