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C.D. Warner, et al., comp. The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

From ‘A Farewell to Sir John Norris and Sir Francis Drake’

By George Peele (1556–1596)

HAVE done with care, my hearts! aboard amain,

With stretching sails to plow the swelling waves;

Bid England’s shore and Albion’s chalky cliffs

Farewell; bid stately Troynovant adieu,

Where pleasant Thames from Isis’s silver head

Begins her quiet glide, and runs along

To that brave bridge, the bar that thwarts her course,

Near neighbor to the ancient stony tower,

The glorious hold that Julius Cæsar built.

Change love for arms, girt to your blades, my boys!

Your rests and muskets take, take helm and targe,

And let god Mars his consort make you mirth,—

The roaring cannon, and the brazen trump,

The angry-sounding drum, the whistling fife,

The shrieks of men, the princely courser’s neigh.

Now vail your bonnets to your friends at home;

Bid all the lovely British dames adieu,

That under many a standard well advanced

Have hid the sweet alarms and braves of love;

Bid theatres and proud tragedians,

Bid Mahomet, Scipio, and mighty Tamburlaine,

King Charlemagne, Tom Stukely, and the rest,

Adieu. To arms, to arms, to glorious arms!

With noble Norris and victorious Drake,

Under the sanguine cross, brave England’s badge,

To propagate religious piety

And hew a passage with your conquering swords

By land and sea, wherever Phœbus’s eye,

Th’ eternal lamp of heaven, lends us light;

By golden Tagus, or the western Ind,

Or through the spacious bay of Portugal,

The wealthy ocean-main, the Tyrrhene sea,

From great Alcides’s pillars branching forth,

Even to the gulf that leads to lofty Rome;

There to deface the pride of Antichrist,

And pull his paper walls and popery down,—

A famous enterprise for England’s strength,

To steel your swords on Avarice’s triple crown,

And cleanse Augeas’s stall in Italy.

To arms, my fellow-soldiers! Sea and land

Lie open to the voyage you intend:

And sea or land, bold Britons, far or near,

Whatever course your matchless virtue shapes,

Whether to Europe’s bounds or Asian plains,

To Afric’s shore, or rich America,

Down to the shades of deep Avernus’s crags,

Sail on; pursue your honors to your graves.

Heaven is a sacred covering for your heads,

And every climate virtue’s tabernacle.

To arms, to arms, to honorable arms!