BURNING OF THE GASPEE"
Anonymous August 3, 1800. Refound in Warwick Historical Society Newsletter, April 1978, VII (4), p4.
Summer was smiling the whole land through;
New-mown meadows scented the air:
But the hearts of men were full of care.
Trouble was rife; for a tyrant's hand
Heavily lay on our own fair land.
Up and down the Rhode Island shore
Sailed the Gaspee, schooner of war.
Might makes right when foes are few:
Braggart was captain, and braggarts the crew.
Colonists had no laws that they,
Officers of the king, should obey.
Sailing now here and sailing there,
Carrying trouble everywhere;
At length one day, in a hurried chase,
After a schooner flying apace,
Fast on the bar the Gaspee lay,
Fast, till the tide should come up the bay.
had settled down:
Out from the wharves of the silent town
Boats moved swiftly with muffled oars;
Quickly behind them sunk the shore,
Till by the Gaspee's sullen side
They float on the waves of the coming tide.
Up on the deck with a sudden leap;
Seeming like foemen sprung from the deep!
The ship is theirs ere the crew half know,
Tumbling on deck from their hammocks below,
Lower your boats, and make away;
Never again shall you sail our bay.
As they pulled homeward, a lurid flame
Lights them back o'er the way they came.
Up the tall masts the fire runs free,
Turning to blood the unquiet sea;
Till with a crash like a thunder-tone,
Night falls again, and the Gaspee is gone.
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