Nelson & His World

Discussion on the life and times of Admiral Lord Nelson
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 Post subject: Lord Nelson's Birthday
PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:45 am 
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Today is the anniversary of Lord Nelson's birth in Burnham Thorpe Norfolk on 29 September 1758 -'a fine Michaelmas Day'.
We shall raise a glass at dinner tonight.

To mark the occasion, here is a poem by Dudley Clarke from the anthology I put together to mark His Lordship's 250th birthday. It was written during the First World War, the beginning of which is to be widely commemorated next year, and imagines a conversation between Nelson and that other famous sea dog, Sir Francis Drake, as they ponder the changing face of warfare, and the inspiration that they might nonetheless bring to a nation under threat.



Called Up

COME, tumble up, Lord Nelson, the British Fleet's a-looming!
Come, show a leg, Lord Nelson, the guns they are a-booming!
'Tis a longish line of battle -- such as we did never see;
An' 'tis not the same old round-shot as was fired by you an' me!
What see'st thou, Sir Francis? -- Strange things I see appearing!
What hearest thou, Sir Francis? -- Strange sounds I do be hearing!
They are fighting in the heavens; they're at war beneath the sea!
Ay, their ways are mighty different from the ways o' you an' me!
See'st thou nought else, Sir Francis? -- I see great lights a-seeking!
Hearest thou nought else, Sir Francis? -- I hear thin wires a-speaking!
Three leagues that shot hath carried! -- God, that such could ever be!
There's no mortal doubt, Lord Nelson -- they ha' done wi' you an' me!
Look thou again, Sir Francis? -- I see the flags a-flapping!
Hearken once more, Sir Francis! -- I hear the sticks a-tapping!
'Tis a sight that calls me thither! -- 'Tis a sound that bids me "Come!"
'Tis the old Trafalgar signal! -- 'Tis the beating of my drum!
Art thou ready, good Sir Francis? See, they wait upon the quay!
Praise be to God, Lord Nelson, they ha' thought of you an' me!


Dudley Clarke.

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