Poetry Lovers' Page
Poetry Lovers' Page:
featuring complete collections of poems by the following poets:
Rudyard Kipling
Edgar Allan Poe
Robert Louis Stevenson

You are here: Home » British/American Poets » Rudyard Kipling » The Dutch in the Medway



Share |
Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

The Dutch in the Medway

1664-72
If wars were won by feasting,
  0r victory by song,
Or safety found in sleeping sound,
  How England would be strong!
But honour and dominion
  Are not maintained so.
They're only got by sword and shot,
  And this the Dutchmen know!

The moneys that should feed us
  You spend on your delight,
How can you then have sailor-men
  To aid you in your fight?
Our fish and cheese are rotten,
  Which makes the scurvy grow--
We cannot serve you if we starve,
  And this the Dutchmen now!

Our ships in every harbour
  Be neither whole nor sound,
And, when we seek to mend a leak,
  No oakum can be found;
Or, if it is, the caulkers,
  And carpenters also,
For lack of pay have gone away,
  And this the Dutchmen know!

Mere powder, guns, and bullets,
  We scarce can get at all;
Their price was spent in merriment
  And revel at Whitehall,
While we in tattered doublets
  From ship to ship must row,
Beseeching friends for odds and ends--
   And this the Dutchmen know! 

No King will heed our warnings,
  No Court will pay our claims--
Our King and Court for their disport
  Do sell the very Thames!
For, now De Ruyter's topsails
  Off naked Chatham show,
We dare not meet him with our fleet--
  And this the Dutchmen know!

Share |


You are here: Home » British/American Poets » Rudyard Kipling » The Dutch in the Medway
Poetry Lovers' Page
Poetry Lovers' Page is going through renovation. Please stay tuned for new and exciting features.
We are now dictionary-enabled. Try it: double-click on any word on this page, and then click on Definition