1805 14

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Tom's Triumph
The European Magazine, XLVIII (December 1805), p. 465

The fight was o'er, the prize in tow,
When Ben in friendship went below,
To learn if Tom, his sister's swain,
Was 'mongst the wounded or the slain.
Between each deck his friend he sought,
With hopes and fears his bosom fraught;
He call'd his name, but call'd in vain;
No answer came from Tom again.


His steps now to the cockpit lead,
Where some were wounded, some lay dead;
Among the former—piercing sight!—
Was Tom, poor lad! in piteous plight—
Both legs were gone, e'en to the thighs!
At Ben's known voice he op'd his eyes,
A hand held out his friend to greet,
Convinc'd that life would soon retreat.


With looks benign Ben's hand he press'd,
And thus his kneeling friend address'd:
"My time is come—my end is near"—
Ben wip'd away a manly tear—
"To thee, my honour'd, worthy friend,
A tender pledge I now commend:
Your sister Sall, betroth'd my wife,
Support, protect, defend through life.


"Tell her we conquer'd!—beat the foe!—
My line is run—I go, I go."
He could no more—his manly breast
Exulted—heav'd—and sunk to rest.—
And now in shrouded hammock laid,
Each tar a tear in tribute paid;
His body to the Deep consign'd,
As men they griev'd—as men resign'd.

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