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

February 15

The Spirit of the Maine

By Tudor Jenks (1857–1922)

  • The blowing up of the Maine in the harbor of Havana on the night of Feb. 15, 1898, was the event which precipitated the war with Spain which had been impending for some months.

  • IN battle-line of sombre gray

    Our ships of war advance,

    As Red Cross knights in holy fray

    Charged with avenging lance.

    And terrible shall be thy plight,

    O fleet of cruel Spain!

    For ever in our van doth fight

    The spirit of the Maine!

    As when, beside Regillus Lake,

    The great twin brethren came

    A righteous fight for Rome to make

    Against a deed of shame,

    So now a ghostly ship shall doom

    The fleet of treacherous Spain,

    Before her guilty soul doth loom

    The spirit of the Maine!

    A wraith arrayed in peaceful white,

    As when asleep she lay

    Above the traitorous mine that night

    Within Havana Bay,

    She glides before the avenging fleet

    A sign of woe to Spain.

    Brave though her sons, how shall they meet

    The spirit of the Maine?