Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE VICTORY-WRECK, by WILLIAM MCKENDREE CARLETON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE VICTORY-WRECK, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O stealthily-creeping merrimac
Last Line: "and even our foemen cheer!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Carleton, Will
Subject(s): Hobson, Richmond Pearson (1870-1937); Sea Battles; Spanish-american War (1898); Naval Warfare

Hush low your fiery breath;
You who gave life to ships of strife
Are sailing unto your death! --
"I am ready and dressed for burial,
Beneath the Cuban wave;
But still I can fight for God and right,
While resting in my grave!"

O men that are sailing the Merrimac,
Your hearts are beating high;
But send a prayer through the smoking air,
To your Captain in the sky! --
"We know there is death in every breath,
As we cling to the gunless deck;
And grand will be our voyage, if we
Can make of our ship a wreck!"

Now drop the bower of the Merrimac,
And swing her to the tide.
Now scuttle her, braves, and bid the waves
Sweep into her shattered side! --
"Through a flying hell of shot and shell,
We passed Death, with a sneer;
We wrenched our life from a novel strife,
And even our foemen cheer!"

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