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Your gallant deeds shall fire a future

race; To you may kings and potentates appeal, You may the doom of jarring nations

seal; A glorious empire rises, bright and new! Firm be the structure, and must rest on

you !Fame o'er the mighty pile expands her

wings, Remote from princes, bishops, lords, and

kings, Those fancied gods, who, famed through

every shore, Mankind have fashioned, and like fools,

adore. Here yet shall heaven the joys of peace

bestow, While through our soil the streams of

plenty flow, And o'er the main we spread the trading

sail, Wafting the produce of the rural vale. 30 GEORGE THE THIRD'S SOLILOQUY What mean these dreams, and hideous

forms that rise Night after night, tormenting to my

eyes No real foes these horrid shapes can be, But thrice as much they vex and torture


No-to the last my squadrons shall com

bine, And slay my foes, while foes remain to

slay, Or heaven shall grant me one successful

day. Is there a robber close in Newgate

hemmed, Is there a cut-throat, fettered and con

demned? Haste, loyal slaves, to George's standard

come, Attend his lectures when you hear the

drum; Your chains I break-for better days pre

pare, Come out, my friends, from prison and

from care, Far to the west I plan your desperate

sway, There 'tis no sin to ravage, burn, and

slay, There, without fear, your bloody aims

pursue, And shew mankind what English thieves

can do. That day, when first I mounted to the

throne, I swore to let all foreign foes alone. Through love of peace to terms did I

advance, And made, they say, a shameful league

with France. But different scenes rise horrid to my

view, I charged my hosts to plunder and sub

dueAt first, indeed, I thought short wars to

wage And sent some jail-birds to be led by

Gage, For 'twas but right, that those we marked

for slaves Should be reduced by cowards, fools, and

knaves; Awhile directed by his feeble hand, Whose troops were kicked and pelted

through the land, Or starved in Boston, cursed the unlucky

hour They left their dungeons for that fatal

shore. France aids them now, a desperate game

I play, And hostile Spain will do the same, they

say; My armies vanquished, and my heroes fled, My people murmuring, and my commerce





How cursed is he—how doubly cursed

am 1Who lives in pain, and yet who dares not

die; To him no joy this world of Nature

brings, In vain the wild rose blooms, the daisy

springs. Is this a prelude to some new disgrace, Some baleful omen to my

name and race !It may be so-ere mighty Cæsar died Presaging Nature felt his doom, and

sighed; A bellowing voice through midnight

groves was heard, And threatening ghosts at dusk of eve

appearedEre Brutus fell, to adverse fates a prey, His evil genius met him on the way, And so may mine!—but who would yield A prize, some luckier hour may make my

own? Shame seize my crown ere such a deed

be mine

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My shattered navy pelted, bruised, and Or, like our James, fly basely from the clubbed,

state, My Dutchmen bullied, and my French Or share, what still is worse old men drubbed,

Charles's fate. My name abhorred, my nation in disgrace,

United States Magazine, May, 1779. How should I act in such a mournful

case! My hopes and joys are vanished with my THE BRITISH PRISON SHIP 1

coin, My ruined army, and my lost Burgoyne!

Canto II What shall I do—confess my labours

The various horrors of these hulks to vain,

tell, Or whet my tusks, and to the charge

These Prison Ships where pain and horagain!

ror dwell, But where's my force — my choicest

Where death in tenfold vengeance holds troops are Aed,

his reign, Some thousands crippled, and a myriad And injur'd 'ghosts, yet unaveng’d, comdead

plain; If I were owned the boldest of mankind, And hell with all her flames inspired my

This be my task-ungenerous Britons,

you mind, Could I at once with Spain and France

Conspire to murder those you can't sub

due.contend, And fight the rebels on the world's green

Weak as I am, I'll try my strength to

day end?

And my best arrows at these hell-hounds The pangs of parting I can ne'er endure, Yet part we must, and part to meet no


To future years one scene of death promore!

long, Oh, blast this Congress, blast each up

And hang them up to infamy, in song. start State,

That Britain's rage should dye our On whose commands ten thousand cap

plains with gore, tains wait;

And desolation spread through every From various climes that dire Assembly

shore, came,

None e'er could doubt, that her ambition True to their trust, as hostile to my fame,

knew, 'Tis these, ah these, have ruined half my

This was to rage and disappointment due; sway,

But that those monsters whom our soil Disgraced my arms, and led my slaves

maintain'd, astray-

Who first drew breath in this devoted Cursed be the day when first I saw the

land, sun,

Like famish'd wolves, should on their Cursed be the hour when I these wars

country prey, begun :

Assist its foes, and wrest our lives away, The fiends of darkness then possessed my

This shocks belief-and bids our soil dismind, And powers unfriendly to the human

Such friends, subservient to a bankrupt kind.

crown, To wasting grief, and sullen rage a prey,

By them the widow mourns her partner To Scotland's utmost verge I'll take my

dead, way, There with eternal storms due concert

Her mangled sons to darksome prisons

led, keep And while the billows rage, as fiercely 1 On May 25, 1780, Freneau in the ship

Aurora started from Philadelphia

pas. weep

senger for Santa Cruz. The next day, while Ye highland lads, my rugged fate be off Cape Henlopin,, the ship was captured by moan,

the British frigate Iris, Capt. Hawkes, and the Assist me with one sympathizing groan,

crew and passengers sent to New York as pris. For late I find the nations are my foes,

Canto I of this poem deals with “The

Capture" and Canto III with "The Hospital I must submit, and that with bloody nose, Prison Ship.”








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shall see,

There, the black Scorpion at her mooring

rides, There, Strombolo swings, yielding to the

tides ; Here, bulky Jersey fills a larger space, And Hunter, to all hospitals disgrace- 60 Thou, Scorpion, fatal to thy crowded

throng, Dire theme of horror and Plutonian song, Requir'st my lay — thy sultry decks I

know, And all the torments that exist below! The briny waves that Hudson's bosom

fills Drain'd through her bottom in a thou

sand rills, Rotten and old, replete with sighs and

groans, Scarce on the waters she sustain'd her

bones; Here, doom'd to toil, or founder in the tide,

69 At the moist pumps incessantly we ply'd, Here, doom'd to starve, like famish'd dogs

we tore The scant allowance, that our tyrants

bore. Remembrance shudders at this scene

of fearsStill in my view some English brute ap

pears, Some base - born Hessian slave walks

threat'ning by, Some servile Scot with murder in his eye Still haunts my sight, as vainly they beRebellions manag'd so unlike their own! O may I never feel the poignant pain To live subjected to such fiends again, 80 Stewards and Mates that hostile Britain

bore, Cut from the gallows on their native

shore; Their ghastly looks and vengeance-beam

To scorch'd Bahama shall the traitors go With grief and rage, and unremitting On burning sands to walk their painful

round, And sigh through all the solitary ground, Where no gay flower their haggard eyes And find no shade but from the cypress

tree. So much we suffer'd from the tribe I

hate, So near they shov'd me to the brink of

fate, When two long months in these dark

hulks we lay, Barr'd down by night, and fainting all

the day In the fierce fervours of the solar beam, Cool'd by no breeze on Hudson's moun

tain-stream; That not unsung these threescore days

shall fall To black oblivion that would cover all !No masts or sails these crowded ships

adorn, Dismal to view, neglected and forlorn! Here, mighty ills oppress the imprison'd

throng, Dull were our slumbers, and our nights

too longFrom morn to eve along the decks we lay Scorch'd into fevers by the solar ray; No friendly awning cast a welcome shade, Once was it promis'd, and was

made; No favours could these sons of death

bestow, 'Twas endless cursing, and continual woe: Immortal hatred doth their breasts en

gage, And this lost empire swells their souls Two hulks on Hudson's stormy bosom

lie, Two, farther south, affront the pitying




ing eyes



Still to my view in dismal colours rise-
O may I ne'er review these dire abodes,
These piles for slaughter, floating on the

floods, And you, that o'er the troubled ocean go, Strike not your standards to this mis

creant foe, Better the greedy wave should swallow all,

89 Better to meet the death-conducted ball, Better to sleep on ocean's deepest bed, At once destroy'd and number'd with the

dead, Than thus to perish in the face of day

with rage.



Where twice ten thousand deaths one

death delay. When to the ocean dives the western

sun, And the scorch'd Tories fire their evening

gun, "Down, rebels, down !" the angry Scotch

men cry, “Damn'd dogs, descend, or by our broad

swords die!" Hail, dark abode! what can with thee

compareHeat, sickness, famine, death, and stag

nant airPandora's box, from whence all mischief

fiew, Here real found, torments mankind

anew!Swift from the guarded decks we rush'd

along, And vainly sought repose, so vast our

throng: Three hundred wretches here, denied all

light, In crowded mansions pass the infernal

night, Some for a bed their tatter'd vestments

join, And some on chests, and some on floors

recline; Shut from the blessings of the evening

air, Pensive we lay with mingled corpses

there, Meagre and wan, and scorch'd with heat

below, We loom'd like ghosts, ere death had

made us so— How could we else, where heat and hun

ger join'd Thus to debase the body and the mind, Where cruel thirst the parching throat

invades, Dries up the man, and fits him for the

shades. No waters laded from the bubbling

spring To these dire ships the British monsters

bringBy planks and ponderous beams com

pletely wall'd In vain for water, and in vain, I callidNo drop was granted to the midnight

prayer, To Dives in these regions of despair !The loathsome cask a deadly dose con

tains, Its poison circling through the languid


"Here, generous Britain, generous, as you

say, To my parch'd tongue one cooling drop

convey, Hell has no mischief like a thirsty throat, Nor one tormenter like your David

Dull flew the hours, till, from the East

display'd, Sweet morn dispells the horrors of the

shade; On every side dire objects meet the sight, And pallid forms, and murders of the

night, The dead were past their pain, the living

groan, Nor dare to hope another morn their

own; But what to them is morn's delightful

ray, Sad and distressful as the close of day, O'er distant streams appears the dewy

green, And leafy trees on mountain tops are

seen, But they no groves nor grassy mountains

tread, Mark'd for a longer journey to the dead. Black as the clouds that shade St. Kil

da's shore, Wild as the winds that round her moun

tains roar, At every post some surly vagrant stands, Pick'd from the British or the Irish bands, Some slave from Hesse, some hangman's

son at least Sold and transported, like his brother

beastSome miscreant Tory, puff'd with upstart

pride, Led on by hell to take the royal side; Dispensing death triumphantly they stand, Their musquets ready to obey command; Wounds are their sport, as ruin is their aim;

151 On their dark souls compassion has no

claim, And discord only can their spirits please : Such were our tyrants here, and such

were these. Ingratitude! no curse like thee is found Throughout this jarring world's extended

round, Their hearts with malice to our country

swell Because in former days we us'd them

well!This pierces deep, too deeply wounds the






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1 O'er the rough main with flowing sheet The guardian of a numerous feet,

Seraphis from the Baltic came; A ship of less tremendous force Sail'd by her side the self-same course,

Countess of Scarb'ro was her name.


We help'd them naked, friendless, and

distrest, Receiv'd their vagrants with an open

hand, Bestow'd them buildings, privilege, and

landBehold the change !—when angry Britain

rose, These thankless tribes became our fierc

est foes, By them devoted, plunder'd, and accurst, Stung by the serpents whom ourselves

had nurs'd. But such a train of endless woes

abound, So many mischiefs in these hulks are

found, That on them all a poem to prolong Would swell too high the horrors of my

songHunger and thirst to work our woe com

bine, And mouldy bread, and Alesh of rotten

swine, The mangled carcase, and the batter'd

brain, The doctor's poison, and the captain's The soldier's musquet, and the steward's

debt, The evening shackle, and the noon-day

threat. That juice destructive to the pangs of

care Which Rome of old, nor Athens could

prepare, Which gains the day for many a modern

chief When cool reflection yields a faint re

lief, That charm, whose virtue warms the

world beside, Was by these tyrants to our use denied, While yet they deign'd that healthy juice

to lade The putrid water felt its powerful aid; But when refus'd — to aggravate our

painsThen fevers rag'd and revel'd through

our veins; Throughout my frame I felt its deadly

heat, I felt my pulse with quicker motions

beat : A pallid hue o'er every face was spread, Unusual pains attack'd the fainting head, No physic here, no doctor to assist, My name was enter'd on the sick man's

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5 With him advanc'd the Countess bold, Like a black tar in wars grown old;

And now these floating piles drew nigh;


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