Heart of Oak

Come, cheer up, my lads ! 'tis to glory we steer,
To add something more to this wonderful year:
To honour we call you, not press you like slaves;
For who are so free as the sons of the waves?

Ch: Heart of oak are our ships,
Heart of oak are our men,
We always are ready:
Steady, boys, steady!
We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again.

We ne'er see our foes but we wish them to stay,
They never see us but they wish us away;
If they run, why, we follow, or run them ashore;
For if they won't fight us we cannot do more.

They swear they'll invade us, these terrible foes!
They frighten our women, our children and beaux;
But should their flat bottoms in darkness get o'er,
Still Britons they'll find to receive them on shore.

Britannia triumphant, her ships sweep the sea;
Her standard is Justice—her watchword, " Be free."
Then cheer up, my lads ! with one heart let us sing,
"Our soldiers, our sailors, our statesmen, and king."

From A Sailor's Garland by John Masefield (1906)