Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO LAURA, ON THE FRENCH FLEET PARADING BEFORE PLYMOUTH, 1779, by ANN THOMAS



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

TO LAURA, ON THE FRENCH FLEET PARADING BEFORE PLYMOUTH, 1779, by            
First Line: Our ears were stunned with noisy drum
Last Line: I'll only say I am thy friend.
Subject(s): American Revolution; Fraser, Simon (1726-1782); Navy - France; French Navy


OUR ears were stunned with noisy drum,
That beats to arms -- the foe is come!
The combined fleets plain did appear,
The van, the centre, and the rear;
You cannot think what horrid rout,
And how the people ran about.
For fear my spirits should grow damp,
I thought I'd go and view the Camp;
And Laura, if you had been there,
You'd had no thought of dread or fear;
The good old Fraser marched along,
Like Hector brave -- Achilles strong;
His Royal First Battalion too
Looked as brave soldiers ought to do;
And Highlanders you there might see
With legs quite bare up to their knee;
They looked as we are often told
Brave Roman warriors did of old;
Each County band in armour bright
Seemed well disposed the foe to fight.
So when I'd seen the martial plain,
Contented I went home again;
All through the streets the wagons creak,
They jumble -- and the dishes break;
'Twill take some time sure to repair
The loss sustained in china-ware;
Yet that's a loss we may regain,
When India ships come home again.
But as for me I thought I'd stay,
And see the fortune of the day;
For, Laura, very well you know
I need not fear the plundering foe;
I had no money -- had no plate,
Nor title-deeds for an estate,
So at the last I could but pack,
And take my fortune on my back.
But when the foe had made this rout,
They took one ship -- and so went out;
A mighty victory sure was won:
An hundred ships have captured one.
And now we are from danger free,
And all the folks are in high glee,
I wonder you so long can stay.
We'd such amusements every day;
The people from the country tramp
To see the manners of the Camp,
And when of that they'd had a view,
Then they consult our conjurer too;
Poor man -- indeed he cannot see,
But reads the stars like ABC;
He tells them all what will betide,
And when each lass shall be a bride;
And when the destined youth appears,
Describes the very coat he wears;
He'd tell her too, if he may prove
An object worthy of her love:
When these important things they know,
Then home again contented go.
Laura, if you should longer stay,
I think I'll come some holiday;
And Jenny call a thousand sluts,
Unless she gives me store of nuts;
And when I come, I hope her hoard
Good red-streaked apples will afford.
Laura, I think it's time to end:
I'll only say I am thy friend.





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