The Ballad of the Rover

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
The Ballad of the Rover  (1919) 
by Archibald McKellar MacMechan
From Three Sea Songs, 1919.

Come all you jolly sailor lads, that love the cannon's roar,
Your good ship on the bring wave, your lass and glass ashore,
How Nova Scotia's sons can fight you presently shall hear,
And of gallant captain Godfrey in the Rover privateer

She was a brig of Liverpool, of just a hundred tons;
She had a crew of fifty-five and mounted fourteen guns;
When south against King George's foes she first began to steer,
A smarter craft ne'er floated than the Rover privateer.

Five months our luck held up and down the Spanish Main;
And many a prize we overhauled and sent to port again;
Until the Spaniards laid their plans with us to interfere,
And stop the merry cruizing of the Rover privateer.

The year was eighteen hundred, September tenth the day,
As off Cape Blanco in a calm all motionless we lay,
When the schooner Santa Rita and three gunboats did appear,
Asweeping down to finish off the Rover privateer.

With muskets and with pistols we enaged them as they came,
Till they closed in port and starboard to play the boarding game;
Then we manned the sweeps, and spun her round without a thought of fear.
And raked the Santa Ritta from the Rover privateer

At once we spun her back again; the gunboats were too close;
But our gunners they were ready, and they gave the Dons their dose.
They kept their distance after that and soon away did sheer,
And left the Santa Ritta to the Rover privateer.

We fought her for three glasses and then we went aboard,
Our gallant captain heading us with pistol and with sword;
It did not take us very long her bloody decks to clear,
And down came the Spanish colours to the Rover privateer!

We brought our prizes safe to port - we never lost a man;
There never was a luckier cruise since cruising first began;
We fought and beat four Spaniards - now did you ever hear
The like of Captain Godfrey and the Rover privateer?


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.

The author died in 1933, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.