Digital Tradition Mirror

Second of August

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Second of August

On the sccond of August, eighteen hundred and one,
As we sailed with Lord Nelson to the port of Boulogne
For to cut out some shipping, which proved in vain:
To our misfortune they were all moored with chain.

Our boats being well-manned by eleven at night
To cut out their shipping, not expecbng to fight;
But the grape from their batteries so smartly did play
That nine hundred brave seamen killed and wounded there lay.

We hoisted our colors, and so bold did them spread,
With the British flag flying at the royal mast head;
For the honour of old England we'll always maintain
While bold British seamen plough the watery main.

Exposed to the fire of the enemy we lay
While ninety bright pieces of cannon did play;
There many brave seamen did lay in their gore,
And the shots from the batteries most smartly did pour.

Our noble commander with his heart full of grief
Used every endeavour to afford us relief.
No ship could assist us as well he did know;
In this wounded condition we were tossed to and fro.

All you  who relieve us the Lord will you bless
For relieving poor seamen in times of distress.
May the Lord put an end to all cruel wars,
Send peace and contentment to all British tars.

From Oxford Book of Sea Songs, Palmer
In 1801, Nelson, in the frigate Medusa, led a flotilla in an
abortive attack on French invasion craft in the harbor of
Boulogne. This broadsheet was intended to stimulate the
generosity of the public on behalf of wounded seamen. RP


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