James and Mary Ford, eds. Every Day in the Year. 1902.

August 5


By William Tuckey Meredith

  • A naval victory gained in Mobile Bay by the Federals under Farragut over the Confederates under Buchanan on August 5, 1864.

  • FARRAGUT, Farragut,

    Old heart of oak,

    Daring Dave Farragut,

    Thunderbolt stroke,

    Watches the hoary mist

    Lift from the bay,

    Till his flag, glory-kissed,

    Greets the young day.

    Far, by gray Morgan’s walls,

    Looms the black fleet.

    Hark, deck to rampart calls

    With the drum’s beat!

    Buoy your chains overboard,

    While the steam hums;

    Men! to the battlement,

    Farragut comes.

    See, as the hurricane

    Hurtles in wrath

    Squadrons of clouds amain

    Back from its path!

    Back to the parapet,

    To the guns’ lips,

    Thunderbolt Farragut

    Hurls the black ships.

    Now through the battle’s roar

    Clear the boy sings,

    “By the mark fathoms four,”

    While his lead swings.

    Steady the wheelmen five

    “Nor’ by East keep her,”

    “Steady,” but two alive:

    How the shells sweep her!

    Lashed to the mast that sways

    Over red decks,

    Over the flame that plays

    Round the torn wrecks,

    Over the dying lips

    Framed for a cheer,

    Farragut leads his ships,

    Guides the line clear.

    On by heights cannon-browed,

    While the spars quiver;

    Onward still flames the cloud

    Where the hulks shiver.

    See, yon fort’s star is set,

    Storm and fire past.

    Cheer him, lads—Farragut,

    Lashed to the mast!

    Oh! while Atlantic’s breast

    Bears a white sail,

    While the Gulf’s towering crest

    Tops a green vale,

    Men thy bold deeds shall tell,

    Old Heart of Oak,

    Daring Dave Farragut,

    Thunderbolt stroke!