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Famous Naval Poems by Famous Poets

These are examples of famous Naval poems written by some of the greatest and most-well-known modern and classical poets. PoetrySoup is a great educational poetry resource of famous naval poems. These examples illustrate what a famous naval poem looks like and its form, scheme, or style (where appropriate).

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by McGonagall, William Topaz
...Ye sons of Mars, come list to me,
And I will relate to ye
A great and heroic naval fight,
Which will fill your hearts with delight. 

The fight was between the French Frigate "Pique" and the British Frigate "Blanche,"
But the British crew were bold and staunch;
And the battle was fought in West Indian waters in the year of 1795,
And for to gain the victory the French did nobly strive. 

And on the morning of the 4th of Januar...Read More



by Marvell, Andrew
...Lovelace young, of chimney-men the cane. 
Old Waller, trumpet-general, swore he'd write 
This combat truer than the naval fight. 
How'rd on's birth, wit, strength, courage much presumes 
And in his breast wears many Montezumes. 
These and some more with single valour stay 
The adverse troops, and hold them all at bay. 
Each thinks his person represents the whole, 
And with that thought does multiply his soul, 
Believes himself an army, theirs, one man 
As easi...Read More

by Trumbull, John
...atorial still
Extends as far as Bunker's hill,
Whose admiralty reaches, clever,
Near half a mile up Mistic river,
Whose naval force yet keeps the seas,
Can run away whene'er he'd please.
Nay, stern with rage grim Putnam boiling
Plunder'd both Hogg and Noddle Island;
Scared troops of Tories into town,
Burn'd all their hay and houses down,
And menaced Gage, unless he'd flee,
To drive him headlong to the sea;
As once, to faithless Jews a sign,
The De'el, turn'd hog-reeve, di...Read More

by Finch, Anne Kingsmill
...that did Obey; 
The best Supporters of thy pompous Stile, 
Thou far Renown'd, thou pow'rful BRITISH Isle! 
Foremost in Naval Strength, and Sov'reign of the Sea! 
These from thy Aid that wrathful Night divides, 
Plung'd in those Waves, o'er which this Title rides. 


What art Thou, envy'd Greatness, at the best, 
In thy deluding Splendors drest? 
What are thy glorious Titles, and thy Forms? 
Which cannot give Security, or Rest 
To favour'd Men, or Kingdoms that contest 
W...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...onged to. They knew it was not of the slightest use to 
appeal to the Bellman about it---he would only refer to his Naval 
Code, and read out in pathetic tones Admiralty Instructions which 
none of them had ever been able to understand---so it generally ended 
in its being fastened on, anyhow, across the rudder. The helmsman 
used to stand by with tears in his eyes: he knew it was all wrong, 
but alas! Rule 42 of the Code, ``No one shall speak to the Man at the 
Helm'...Read More



by McGonagall, William Topaz
...antry,
Which truly was a magnificent sight to see;
Then the Sussex Regiment was on the right,
And the Heavy Cavalry and Naval Brigade all ready to fight. 

Then General Stewart took up a good position on a slope,
Where he guessed the enemy could not with him cope,
Where he knew the rebels must advance,
All up hill and upon open ground, which was his only chance. 

Then Captain Norton's battery planted shells amongst the densest mass,
Determined with shot and shell the...Read More

by Aeschylus,
...ips was gathered, and they could not aid
Each other, but by their own brazen bows
Were struck, they shattered all our naval host.
The Grecian vessels not unskillfully
Were smiting round about; the hulls of ships
Were overset; the sea was hid from sight,
Covered with wreckage and the death of men;
The reefs and headlands were with corpses filled,
And in disordered flight each ship was rowed,
As many as were of the Persian host.
But they, like tunnies or some shoal of...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...,
And was well liked by the men, for what he said was law;
And by him Prince Albert Victor and Prince George received a naval education.
Which met with the Prince of Wales' roost hearty approbation. 

'Twas in the year 1877 he married the Lady Ada Louisa Bennett,
And by marrying that noble lady he ne'er did regret;
And he was ever ready to give his service in any way,
Most willingly and cheerfully by night or by day. 

'Twas in the year of 1887, and on Thursday th...Read More

by Carroll, Lewis
...elonged to. They knew it was not of the slightest use to appeal to the Bellman about it--he would only refer to his Naval Code, and read out in pathetic tones Admiralty Instructions which none of them had ever been able to understand--so it generally ended in its being fastened on, anyhow, across the rudder. The helmsman* used to stand by with tears in his eyes; he knew it was all wrong, but alas! Rule 42 of the Code, "No one shall speak to the Man at the Helm," had b...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...rge Tyron, a noble hero bold,
And his name on his tombstone should be written in letters of gold;
For he was skilful in naval tactics, few men could with him cope,
And he was considered to be the nation's hope. 

'Twas on Thursday, the twenty-second of June,
And off the coast of Syria, and in the afternoon,
And in the year of our Lord eighteen ninety-three,
That the ill-fated "Victoria" sank to the bottom of the sea. 

The "Victoria" sank in fifteen minutes after she ...Read More

by McGonagall, William Topaz
...than another,
Because each man fought as if he'd been avenging the death of a brother. 

The Berkshire men and the Naval Brigade fought with might and main,
And, thank God! the British have defeated the Arabs again,
And have added fresh laurels to their name,
Which will be enrolled in the book of fame. 
'Tis lamentable to think of the horrors of war,
That men must leave their homes and go abroad afar,
To fight for their Queen and country in a foreign land,
Beneath th...Read More

by Brodsky, Joseph
...efore it's morecruel
than the rest. Dearest it's more sound
to wrap up our sailing round
the globe with habitual naval grace 
moving your cot to the fireplace
where our dreadnought is going under
in great smoke. Only fire can grasp a winter!
Golder unharnessed stallions in the chimney
dye their manes to more corvine shades as they near the finish 
and the dark room fills with the plaintive incessant chirring
of a naked lounging grasshopper one cannot cup in ...Read More

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