Poems » george peele » a farewell entitled to the famous and fortunate generals of our english forces


Have done with care, my hearts, abord amain,
With stretching sail to plow the swelling waves.
Bid England's shore and Albion's chalky cliffs
Farewell: bid stately Troynovant adieu,
Where pleasant Thames from Isis' silver head
Begins her quiet glide, and runs along,
To that brave Bridge the bar that thwarts her course,
Near neighbour to the ancient stony Tower,
The glorious hold that Julius Cæsar built:
Change Love for Arms, girt to your blades, my boys,
Your Rests and Muskets take, take Helm and Targe,
And let God Mars his consort make you mirth,
The roaring Cannon and the brazen Trump,
The angry sounding Drum, the whistling Fife,
The shrieks of men, the princely coursers neigh.
Now vail your bonnets to your friends at home,
Bid all the lovely British Dames adieu,
That under many a Standard well advanc'd,
Have bid the sweet alarms and braves of love.
Bid Theaters and proud Tragedians,
Bid Mahomet's Poo, and mighty Tamburlaine,
King Charlemagne, Tom Stukeley and the rest
Under the sanguine Cross, brave England's badge,
To propagate religious piety,
And hew a passage with your conquering swords
By land and Sea: wherever Phoebus' eye
Th'eternal Lamp of Heaven lends us light:
By golden Tagus or the western Inde,
Or through the spacious Bay of Portugal,
The wealthy Ocean main, the Terrene sea,
From great Alcides' pillars branching forth,
Even to the Gulf that leads to lofty Rome,
There to deface the pride of Antichrist,
And pull his Paper walls and popery down:
A famous enterprise for England's strength,
To steel your swords on Avarice' triple crown,
And cleanse Augeus' stalls in Italy.
To Arms, my fellow Soldiers, Sea and land
Lie open to the voyage you intend:
And sea or land bold Britons far or near,
Whatever course your matchless virtue shapes,
Whether to Europe's bounds or Asian plains,
To Affric's shore, or rich America,
Down to the shades of deep Avernus crags,
Sail on, pursue your honours to your graves:
Heaven is a sacred covering for your heads,
And every Climate, virtue's Tabernacle.
To Arms, to Arms, to honourable Arms,
Hoise sails, weigh Anchors up, plow up the Seas
With flying keels, plow up the land with swords,
In God's name venture on, and let me say
To you my Mates, as Cæsar said to his
Striving with Neptune's hills: You here, quoth he,
Cæsar, and Cæsar's fortune in your ships!
You follow them whose swords successful are,
You follow Drake by Sea, the scourge of Spain,
The dreadful Dragon, terror to your foes.
Victorious in his return from Inde,
In all his high attempts unvanquished,
You follow noble Norris, whose renown
Won in the fertile fields of Belgia,
Spreads by the gates of Europe, to the Courts
Of Christian Kings and heathen Potentates.
You fight for Christ and England's peerless Queen,
Elizabeth, the wonder of the world.
Over whose throne th'enemies of God
Have thundered erst their vain successless braves.
O ten times treble happy men that fight,
Under the Cross of Christ and England's Queen,
And follow such as Drake and Norris are.
All honours do this cause accompany.
All glory on these endless honours waits.
These honours, and this glory shall he send:
Whose honour and whose glory you defend.