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Full text of "The Dynasts : Parts First And Second"

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THE DYNASTS                   ACT v
The English Admiral is seen to be signalling to his fleet, The signal is: " ENGLAND EXPECTS EVERY MAN WILL DO HIS DUTY." A loud cheering from all the English ships comes undulating on the wind when the signal is read.
They are signalling too.—Well, business soon begins ! You will reserve your fire.    And be it known That we display no admirals' flags at all Until the action's past    Twill puzzle them, And work to our advantage when we close.— Yes, they are double-ranked, I think, like us; But we shall see anon.
The foremost one
Makes for the " Santa Ana."    In such case The " Fougueux " might assist her.
Be it so—
There's time enough.—Our ships will be in place, And ready to speak back in iron words When theirs cry Hail! in the same sort of voice.
They prepare to receive the northernmost column of the enemy's ships headed by the "Victory," trying the distance by an occasional single shot. During their suspense a discharge is heard southward, and turning they behold COLLINGWOOD at the head of his column in the "Royal Sovereign/' just engaging with the Spanish " Santa Ana," Meanwhile the "Victory" draws still nearer, preserving silence with brazen sang-froid. At a concerted moment full broadsides are discharged into her simultaneously from the " Bucentaure," the "Santisima Trinidad," and the " Redoutable,"
When the smoke clears the "Victory's" mizzen-topmast,'with spars and a quantity of rigging, is seen to have fallen, her wheel to be shot away, and her deck encumbered with dead and wounded men.
'Tis well!    But see ; their course is undelayed, And still they near in clenched audacity!