Sunday, November 13, 2011

Seafaring Sunday: Old Ironsides

November 13, 1830: Joining the effort to save USS Constitution, one of the U.S. Navy's first six frigates, from the wreakers, Oliver Wendell Holmes publishes his poem "Old Ironsides"

Aye, tear her tattered ensign down!
Long has it waved on high,
And many an eye has danced to see
That banner in the sky:
Beneath it rung the battle shout,
And burst the cannon's roar -
The meteor of the ocean air
Shall sweep the clouds no more!

Her deck, once red with heroes' blood,
Where knelt the vanquished foe,
When winds were hurrying o'er the flood,
And waves were white below,
No more shall feel the victor's tread
Or know the conquered knee -
Tha harpies of the shore shall pluck
The eagle of the sea!

Oh, better that her shattered hulk
Should sink beneath the wave;
Her thunders shook the mighty deep,
And ther should be her grave;
Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
And give her to the god of storms,
The lightning and the gale!

Header:USS Constitution in her glory from her official website


Timmy! said...

Ahoy, Pauline! Well said, Mr. Holmes...

Pauline said...

Well said indeed.