THE BATTLE IN THE CHANNEL
I served as gunner’s mate when I was twenty-eight— That’s fifty "Anno dominis” ago— And our ship, which was the “ Spanker,” were a-ridin’ at her anchor, Ono Sunday night in April, you must know. I were chewin’ of a quid, which I ordinary did On Sundays, for I think its sort o’ right, When our gunner—Ben’s jus name—did quite suddenly exclaim, And his exclamation were “ Blow me tight.” Says he: “My jolly mates, this here, Lloyd's paper states As we’re goin’ to fight them German fnrrineers.” Whereupon we tars, in spite o’ its bein' Sunday night. Stood up and gave three hearty British cheers.
Well, we sailed away to meet this famous German fleet, Consumin' which thore’d been no end of jaw; For in six weeks they had planned, and built, and launched, and manned, The finest fleet a nation every saw. We had cruised about on Sunday, but about six bells ou Monday, When as smooth as any mirror was the water. Right out on the horizon rose a cloud as black as pisorr. 'Twas the foe a-steamin’ down upon our quarter. 'Twas all as still as death—there was not a single breath— But our Admiral wore a smile upon his cheek. Tho foe was on our larboard, but right away out starboard. Was a very little, tiny, narrow streak. A-chucklin’ worry sly, a-winkin’ of his eye, . Our Admiral gave orders for to run; And the enemy gave chase, for the Germans as a race Have a preference for fighting ten to one.
At seven we felt a whiff, at eight it blew quite stiff. At nine it was a-blowin’ half a "ale; But at ten the waves ran higher than St. Paul’s Cathedral spire, And my languidge to describe the same do fail. We kept a-lectric light a-bumin’ all the night, But on Tuesday in the morning about three, My gunner up and spoke. "Darn me, if any smoke Is a-comin’ from their chimney pots,” said he. Just then wo heard a shout, tnid our Admiral sang out: “Send the signal up to ware about anil close.” Then fore and aft we ran, to his post stood every man, And louder than the storm our cheers arose. We neared them and took aim, and the word to fire came, And our volley down the line of battle roared; But tho Gormans answered not, not a solitary shot. But- her ciisien fluttered downwards by the board". Wo wore speechless pretty nigh, as we couldn’t mako out for why The sponge they should so quickly upwards chuck it; Till Bismavk was espied hanging pallid o'er the side, And Moltke sitting down beside a bucket.
All their gunners, all their stokers, lay as flat as kitchen pokers, All a-groanin' from the bottom of their souls; For all their precious crew, unaccustomed to the bine, Invalided when the ships began to roll.
And thus the battle ended, thus the broken peace was mended, And William when at last he ceased to
be, Died a sadder and a wiser and more cir cumspect old Kaiser, And a member of the Peace Socielee.”
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THE BATTLE IN THE CHANNEL, Evening Star, Issue 15644, 7 November 1914