Horrors of Slavery, or, The American Tars in Tripoli

By William Ray; Hester Blum | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II
Commencement of Service

—I am a soldier, older in practice, abler than yourself to make conditions.
                                                                                              —CASSIUS1

Our foes by earth and heav’n abhorr’d
’Tis God-like to unsheath the sword.
                                          —PAINE2

Who’s he that walks with such a swagger—
A cockade, uniform and dagger,
Holding this motto up to view,
“I am much better, sir, than you?”
Why, ’tis our officer—young Davy—
A smart lieutenant of the navy;
Who’s challeng’d—though they call him cruel,
Twice twenty bumpers to one duel,
And fought where clubs, not cannon, rattle,
A score of watchmen in one battle;
Wounds he’s receiv’d—in all his clothes,
And bled profusely—at the nose;
For which, grown bolder still and braver,
He basks in governmental favour.
And who is he with feather’d head,
A coat broad-fac’d with warlike red?
That blust’ring—tell me what it means?
Why, he’s lieutenant of marines;
Whose duty ’tis to follow fashions,
To draw his pay and eat his rations;
T’ enlist recruits for calls emergent,
To drill them, or to make his serjeant—
Defraud them out of half their pay,
Then flog them, if a word they say;

-19-

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