OVERTHROW OF THE TURKS BY VICE-ADMIRAL WILLEM JOSEPH
Algiers, that on the midland sea
Rules o’er her bloody pirate-horde,
Sees now her crown in jeopardy,
And drops her cruel robber-sword.
The coast of Barbary, terrified,
Trembles beneath the conquerors’ sway;
Our heroes on her waters ride,
While the fierce bandits, in dismay,
And mad with plunder and with ire,
Are smothered in a sea of fire.
Thrice had the sun from the orient verge
Into his golden chariot sprung;
From the rain-clouds his rays emerge,
With brightest glory round him flung:
The northern winds are roused, — the Turk
Is borne along; — in vain he tries,
While terrors in his bosom lurk,
To ‘scape our glance: — in vain he flies.
He may not fly, — for he is bound
In his pursuers’ toils around.
Ye rapine vultures of the sea,
Haste, haste before the storm and stream;
Stretch out your pinions now, and be
The fearful, flying flock ye seem!
No! Ye shall not escape, — for we
Have hemmed you in on every side;
Your crescent now looks mournfully,
And fain her paling horns would hide.
But no! But no! Ye shall be driven
From earth and ocean, as from heaven.
No! Terror shakes the Afric strand,
The Moor perceives his glory wane;
The madman glares with fiery brand,
As glares the heaven above the main.
The cannons rattle to the wind;
Black, noisome vapors from the waves
The bright-eyed sun with darkness blind;
And Echo shouts from Nereus’ caves,
As if, with rage and strength immortal,
Salmoneus shook hell’s brazen portal.
How should they stand against the free, —
The free, — the brave, — whom Ocean’s pride
Hath loved to crown with victory,
Yet victory never satisfied?
The Amstel’s thunders roar around,
While the barbarians clamor loud,
And, scattered on their native ground,
The base retire before the proud;
While their sea-standards, riven and torn,
Are but the noisy tempest’s scorn.
There twice three ships submit them, — lead
By their commander. Ocean’s freed
From its old tyrants, — and in dread,
On the wide waters when they bleed,
From that inhospitable shore
Upon the mingled flame and smoke
Looks the heart-agitated Moor,
Whose power is lost, and riven his yoke:
He stamps and curses, as he sees
How his fear-stricken brother flees.
O, ye have earned a noble meed,
Brave Christian heroes! The reward
Of virtue. Gratitude shall speed
Your future course: Ye have unbarred
The prison-doors of many a slave,
Whom heathen power had bound, and these
In memory’s shrines your names shall have;
And this shall be your stainless praise,
Leaving sweet thoughts, as seamen ride
From land to land o’er favoring tide.