Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE YANKEE PRIVATEER, by ARTHUR HALE



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THE YANKEE PRIVATEER, by            
First Line: Come listen and I'll tell you
Last Line: For the yankee privateer!
Subject(s): American Revolution; Navy - United States; Patriotism; Privateers; Providence (ship); Whipple, Abraham (1733-1819); American Navy


COME listen and I'll tell you
How first I went to sea,
To fight against the British
And earn our liberty.
We shipped with Cap'n Whipple
Who never knew a fear,
The Captain of the Providence,
The Yankee Privateer.

We sailed and we sailed
And made good cheer,
There were many pretty men
On the Yankee Privateer.

The British Lord High Admiral
He wished old Whipple harm,
He wrote that he would hang him
At the end of his yard arm.
"My Lord," wrote Cap'n Whipple back,
"It seems to me it's clear
That if you want to hang him,
You must catch your Privateer."

We sailed and we sailed
And made good cheer,
For not a British frigate
Could come near the Privateer.

We sailed to the south'ard,
And nothing did we meet,
Till we found three British frigates
And their West Indian fleet.
Old Whipple shut our ports
As we crawled up near,
And he sent us all below
On the Yankee Privateer.

So slowly he sailed
We dropped to the rear,
And not a soul suspected
The Yankee Privateer.

At night we put the lights out
And forward we ran
And silently we boarded
The biggest merchantman.
We knocked down the watch, --
And the lubbers shook for fear,
She's a prize without a shot
To the Yankee Privateer.

We sent the prize north
While we lay near
And all day we slept
On the bold Privateer.

For ten nights we followed,
And ere the moon rose,
Each night a prize we'd taken
Beneath the Lion's nose.
When the British looked to see
Why their ships should disappear,
They found they had in convoy
A Yankee Privateer.

But we sailed and sailed
And made good cheer!
Not a coward was on board
Of the Yankee Privateer.

The biggest British frigate
Bore round to give us chase,
But though he was the fleeter
Old Whipple would n't race,
Till he'd raked her fore and aft,
For the lubbers could n't steer,
Then he showed them the heels
Of the Yankee Privateer.

Then we sailed and we sailed
And we made good cheer,
For not a British frigate
Could come near the Privateer.

Then northward we sailed
To the town we all know,
And there lay our prizes
All anchored in a row;
And welcome were we
To our friends so dear,
And we shared a million dollars
On the bold Privateer.

We'd sailed and we'd sailed
And we made good cheer,
We had all full pockets
On the bold Privateer.

Then we each manned a ship
And our sails we unfurled,
And we bore the Stars and Stripes
O'er the oceans of the world.
From the proud flag of Britain
We swept the seas clear,
And we earned our independence
On the Yankee Privateer.

Then landsmen and sailors,
One more cheer!
Here is three times three
For the Yankee Privateer!





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