The Arethusa

The Arethusa

Come, all ye jolly sailors bold,
Whose hearts are cast in honour’s mould,
While English glory I unfold,
Hurra for the Arethusa!

She is a frigate tight and brave
As ever stemmed the dashing wave;
Her men are staunch to their fav’rite launch,
And when the foe shall meet our fire,
Sooner than strike we’ll all expire,
On board of the Arethusa!

‘Twas with the spring fleet she went out,
The English Channel to cruise about,
When four French sail, in show so stout,
Bore down on the Arethusa!

The famed Belle Poole straight a head did lie,
The Arethusa seemed to fly,
Not a sheet or a tack, or a brace did she slack,
Tho’ the Frenchmen laugh’d and thought it stuff,
But they knew not the handful of men how tough,
On board of the Arethusa.

On deck five hundred men did dance,
The stoutest they could find in France,
We with two hundred did advance,
On board of the Arethusa.

Our captain hailed the Frenchman, “Ho!”
The Frenchmen then cried out, “Hallo!”
“Bear down, d’ye see, to our Admiral’s lee,”
“No, no,” says the Frenchman, “that can’t be,”
“Then I must lug you along with me.”
Says the saucy Arethusa.

The fight was off the Frenchman’s land,
We forced them back upon their strand,
For we fought till not a stick would stand,
Of the gallant Arethusa.

And now we’ve driven the foe ashore,
Never to fight with Britons more,
Let each fill a glass to his fav’rite lass!
A health to the captain and officers true,
And all that belong to the jovial crew,
On board of the Arethusa.