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Their long line to seaward extending so far;
And Preble, he said, as he shut his eyes tight:
“I'm sure they're all hammocked this bitter cold night.”
Bold Maffit commanded — a man of great fame,
He sailed in the Dolphin — you've heard of the same;
He called us all aft, and these words he did say:
“I'm bound to run out, boys; up anchor, away!”
Our hull was well whitewashed, our sails were all stowed,
Our steam was chock up, and the fresh wind it blowed;
As we crawled along by them, the Yanks gave a shout--
We dropped all our canvas, and opened her out.
You'd have thought them all mad if you'd heard the cursed racket
They made upon seeing our flash little packet;
Their boatswains did pipe, and the blue lights did play,
And the great Drummond light, it turned night into day.
The Cuyler, a boat that's unrivalled for speed,
Quick let slip her cables, and quickly indeed
She thought for to catch us, and keep us in play,
Till her larger companions could get under way.
She chased and she chased, till at dawning of day
From her backers she thought she was too far away;
So she gave up the chase, and reported, no doubt,
That she'd sunk us and burnt us — somewhere thereabout.
So when we were out, boys, all on the salt sea,
We brought the Estelle to, right under our lee,
And burnt her and sunk her, with all her fine gear,
And straight sailed for Havana the bold privateer.
'Twas there we recruited, and took in some stores,
Then kissed the senoras, and sailed from their shores;
And on leaving their waters, by way of a joke,
With two Yankee brigs, boys, we made a great smoke.
Our hull was well washed with the limestone so white,
Which sailors all know is not quite Christianlike;
So to paint her all ship-shape we went to Green Keys,
Where the Sonoma came foaming, the rebel to seize.
We put on all sail and up steam right away,
And for forty-eight hours she made us some play;
When our coal being dusty and choking the flue,
Our steam it slacked down, and nearer she drew.
“Oh! ho!” cried our captain, “I see what's your game!
Clear away the stern-pivot, the Bulldog by name,
And two smaller dogs to keep him companie,
For very sharp teeth have these dogs of the sea.”
The Sonoma came up until nearly in range,
When her engines gave out!--now wasn't that strange?
--I don't know the truth, but it's my firm belief,
She didn't like the looks of the Florida's teeth.
She gave up the chase, and returned to Key West,
And told her flag-captain that she'd done her best;
But the story went round, and it grew rather strong,
And the public acknowledged that something was wrong.
We went on a cruising, and soon did espy
A fine lofty clipper, bound home from Shanghai;
We burnt her and sunk her in the midst of the sea,
And drank to old Jeff in the best of Bohea!
We next found a ship with a Quakerish name--
A wolf in sheep's clothing oft plays a deep game;
For the hold of that beautiful, mild, peaceful Star
Was full of saltpetre, to make powder for war.
Of course the best nature could never stand that--
Saltpetre for Boston's a little too fat;
So we burnt her and sunk her, she made a great blaze,
She's a star now gone down, and we've put out her rays.
We next took a schooner well laden with bread--
What the devil got into old Uncle Abe's head?
To send us such biscuit is such a fine thing,
It sets us all laughing, as we sit and sing.
We next took the Lapwing — right stuff in her hold,
And that was black diamonds, that people call coal;
With that in our bunkers, we'll tell Uncle Sam,
That we think his gunboats are not worth a damn.
The Mary Jane Colcord to Capetown was bound,
We bade her heave to, though, and swing her yards round;
And to Davy Jones's locker, without more delay,
We sent her afire, and so sailed on our way.
Huzza huzza! for the Florida's crew!
We'll range with bold Maffit the world through and through.
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