Treasure Island

George Borrow

(1803-1881 / England)

National Song


King Christian stood beside the mast;
Smoke, mixt with flame,
Hung o’er his guns, that rattled fast
Against the Gothmen, as they pass’d:
Then sunk each hostile sail and mast
In smoke and flame.
“Fly!” said the foe: “fly! all that can,
Nor wage, with Denmark’s Christian,
The dread, unequal game.”

Niels Juul look’d out, and loudly cried,
“Quick! now’s the time:”
He hoisted up his banner wide,
And fore and aft his foemen plied;
And loud above the battle cried,
“Quick! now’s the time.”
“Fly!” said the foe, “‘t is Fortune’s rule,
To deck the head of Denmark’s Juul
With Glory’s wreath sublime.”

Once, Baltic, when the musket’s knell
Rang through the sky,
Down to thy bosom heroes fell
And gasp’d amid the stormy swell;
While, from the shore, a piercing yell
Rang through the sky!
“God aids me,” cried our Tordenskiold;
“Proud foes, ye are but vainly bold;
Strike, strike, to me, or fly!”

Thou Danish path to fame and might,
Dark-rolling wave,
Receive a friend who holds as light
The perils of the stormy fight;
Who braves, like thee, the tempest’s might;
Dark rolling wave,
O swiftly bear my bark along,
Till, crown’d with conquest, lull’d with song,
I reach my bourne—the grave.

Submitted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010

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