One evening, off Mobile, the Yanks they all knew
That the wind from the north'rd most bitterly blew;
They also all knew, and they thought they were sure,
They'd block'd up the Florida, safe and secure..
Huzza! huzza, for the Florida's crew;
We'll range with bold Maffitt the world through and through
Nine cruisers they had, and they lay off the bar,
Their long line to seaward extending so far,
And Preble he said as he shut his eyes tight:
I'm sure they're all hammock'd this bitter cold night.
Bold Maffitt commanded, a man of great fame
He sail'd on the Dolphin, you've heard of the same;
He called us all aft, and these words he did say:
I'm, bound to run out boys, up anchor, away!
Our hull was well whitewash'd, our sails were all stow'd;
Our steam was chock up, and the fresh wind it blow'd
As we crawl'd along, by them, the Yanks gave a shout;
We dropp'd all our canvas and open'd her out.
You'd have thought them all mad, if you heard the curs'd racket
They made upon seeing oar flash little packet;
Their boatswains did pipe, and the blue lights did play,
And the great Drummond light it turn'd night into day.
The Cuyler, a boat that's unrival'd for speed,
Quick let slip her cables, and quickly indeed
She sought for to catch us and keep us in play,
Till her larger companions could got under way.
She chas'd and she chased till at dawning of day
From her backers she thought she was too far away
So she gave up the chase and reported, no doubt,
That she'd sunk us and turnt us somewhere there about.
So when we were out, boys, all on the salt sea,
We brought the Estelle to, right under our lee,
And burnt her and sunk her with all her fine gear,
And straight sail'd for Havana the bold privateer.
'Twas there we recruited and took in some stores,
Then kiss'd the senoras and sail'd from their shores,
And on leaving their-waters, by way of a joke,
With two Yankee brigs, boys, we made a great smoke.
Our hull was well wash'd with the limestone so white,
Which sailors all know is not quite Christianlike,
So to paint her all shipshape we went to Green Keys
Where the Sonoma came foaming, the Rebel to seize.
We put on all sail and up steam right away,
And for forty-eight hours she made us some play,
When our coal being dusty, and choking the flue,
Our steam it slack'd down, and nearer she drew.
Oh, ho! cried our captain, I see what's your game!
Clear away the stern pivot, the Bulldog by name,
And two smaller dogs to keep him companie,
For very sharp teeth have those dogs of the sea.
The Sonoma came up until nearly in range,
When her engines gave out! -- now wasn't that strange?
I don't know the truth, but it's my firm belief
She didn't like the looks of the Florida's teeth.
She gave up the chase and returned to Key West,
And told her flag captain that she done her best;
But the story went round; and it grew rather strong,
And the public acknowledg'd that something was wrong.
We went on a-cruising and soon did espy
A fine, lofty clipper, bound home from Shanghai;
We burnt her and sunk her in the midst of the sea,
And drunk to Old Jeff in the best of Bohea!
We next found a ship with a quakerish name:
A wolf in sheep's clothing oft plays a deep game
For the hold of that beautiful, mild, peaceful Star
Was full of saltpetre, to make powder for war.
Of course the best nature could never stand that,
Saltpetre for Boston's a little too fat,
So we burned her and sunk her, she made a grand blaze,
She's a star now gone down, and we've put out her rays.
We next took a schooner well-laden'd with bread;
What the devil got into Old Uncle Abe's head?
To send us such biscuit is such a fine thing,
It sets us all laughing as we sit and sing:
We next took the Lapwing, right stuff in her hold,
And that was black diamonds that people call coal;
With that in our bunkers we'll tell Uncle Sam,
That we think his gunboats are not worth a damn.
The Mary Jane Colcord to Cape Town was bound,
We bade her heave to though and swing her yards round,
And to Davy Jones' locker without more delay
We set her afire, and so sailed on our way.