SPIRIT OF THE PITIES
What are these fleets that cross the sea From British ports and bays
To coasts that glister southwardly Behind the dog-day haze ?
RUMOURS (chanting) SEMICHORUS I
They are the shipped battalions sent To bar the bold Belligerent
Who stalks the Dancers Land. Within these hulls, like sheep a-pen, Are packed in thousands fighting-men
And colonels in command.
The fleet that leans each aery fin Far south, where Mondego mouths in, Bears Wellesley and his aides therein,
And Hill, and Crauford too ; With Torrens, Ferguson, and Fane, And majors, captains, clerks, in train, And those grim needs that appertain—
The surgeons—not a few ! To them, add near twelve thousand souls In linesmen that the list enrolls, Borne onward by those sheeted poles
As war*s red retinue /
The fleet that clears St. Helen's shore Holds Burrard, Hope, ill-omened Moore,
Clinton and Paget; while The transports that pertain to those Count six-score sail, whose planks enclose
Ten thousand rank and file. 248