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

September 23

Paul Jones’ Victory

By Anonymous

AN AMERICAN Frigate:—a frigate of fame,

With guns mounting forty, The Richard by name,

Sailed to cruise in the channels of old England,

With a valiant commander, Paul Jones was his name.

Hurrah! Hurrah! Our country forever, Hurrah!

We had not cruised long, before he espies

A large forty-four, and a twenty likewise;

Well manned with bold seamen, well laid in with stores,

In consort to drive us from Old England’s shores.

Hurrah! Hurrah! Our country forever, Hurrah!

About twelve at noon, Pearson came alongside,

With a loud speaking trumpet, “Whence came you?” he cried:

“Return me an answer—I hailed you before,

Or if you do not, a broadside I’ll pour.” Hurrah!

Paul Jones then said to his men, every one,

“Let every true seaman stand firm to his gun!

We’ll receive a broadside from this bold Englishman,

And like true Yankee sailors, return it again.” Hurrah!

The contest was bloody, both decks ran with gore,

And the sea seemed to blaze, while the cannon did roar.

“Fight on, my brave boys,” then Paul Jones he cried,

“And soon we will humble this Englishman’s pride.” Hurrah!

“Stand firm to your quarters—your duty don’t shun,

The first one that shrinks, through the body I’ll run,

Though their force is superior, yet they shall know,

What true, brave American seamen can do.” Hurrah!

The battle rolled on, till bold Pearson cried:

“Have you yet struck your colors? then come alongside!”

But so far from thinking that the battle was won,

Brave Paul Jones replied: “I’ve not yet begun!” Hurrah!

We fought them eight glasses, eight glasses so hot,

Till seventy bold seamen lay dead on the spot.

And ninety brave seamen lay stretched in their gore,

While the pieces of cannon most fiercely did roar.

Our gunner, in great fright, to Captain Jones came,

“We gain water quite fast and our side’s in a flame.”

Then Paul Jones said in the height of his pride:

“If we cannot do better, boys, sink alongside!”

The Alliance bore down, and the Richard did rake,

Which caused the bold hearts of our seamen to ache:

Our shots flew so hot that they could not stand us long,

And the undaunted Union-of-Britain came down.

To us they did strike and their colors hauled down;

The fame of Paul Jones to the world shall be known,

His name shall rank with the gallant and brave,

Who fought like a hero—our freedom to save.

Now all valiant seamen where’er you may be,

Who hear of this combat that’s fought on the sea,

May you all do like them when called to do the same,

And your names be enrolled on the pages of fame.

Your country will boast of her sons that are brave,

And to you she will look from all dangers to save,

She’ll call you dear sons, in her annals you’ll shine,

And the brows of the brave shall green laurels entwine.

So now my brave boys have we taken a prize—

A large 44 and a 20 likewise!

Then God bless the mother whose doom is to weep

The loss of her sons in the ocean so deep.