It was the Stately Southerner, that carried the Stripes and Stars,
The whitling wind from west-nor'-west blew through her pitch-pine spars.
With her starboard tacks aboard, my boys, she hung up to the gale,
'Twas an autumn night, we raised the light on the Old Head of Kinsale.
It was a clear and cloudless night; the wind blew steady and strong,
As gaily over the sparkling deep our good ship bowled along.
With the fiery foam beneath her bows the white wave she did spread,
And bending alow her bosom in mow she buried her lee cathead.
There was no talk of short'ning sail by him who walked the poop,
And 'neath the press of her ponderous jib the boom bent like a hoop;
And the groaning waterways told the strain that held her stout main-tack,
But he only laughed as he gazed abaft at the white and glist'ning track.
The mid-tide meets in the channel waves that flow from shore to shore,
And the mist hung heavy along the land from Featherstone to Dunmore,
And that sterling light on Tuskar Rock, where the old bell tolls each hour,
And the beacon light that shone so bright was quenched on Waterford tower.
What looms upon our starboard bow, what hangs upon the breeze?
'Tis time our good ship hauled her wind abreast the old Saltees,
For by her ponderous press of sail and by her stunted spars
We saw that our morning visitor was a British man-o'-war.