The sun was lost in a leaden sky, And the shore lay under our lee; When a great Sou' Wester hurricane high Came rollicking up the sea. He played with the fleet as a boy with boats Till out for the Downs we ran, And he laugh'd with the roar of a thousand throats At the militant ways of man: Oh! I am the enemy most of might, The other be who you please! Gunner and guns may all be right, Flags a-flying and armour tight, But I am the fellow you've first to fight -- The giant that swings the seas. A dozen of middies were down below Chasing the X they love, While the table curtseyed long and slow And the lamps were giddy above. The lesson was all of a ship and a shot, And some of it may have been true, But the word they heard and never forgot Was the word of the wind that blew: Oh! I am the enemy most of might, etc. The Middy with luck is a Captain soon, With luck he may hear one day His own big guns a-humming the tune "'Twas in Trafalgar's Bay." But wherever he goes, with friends or foes, And whatever may there befall, He'll hear for ever a voice he knows For ever defying them all: Oh! I am the enemy most of might, etc.
- by Henry Newbolt, Sir (1862 - 1938), "The song of the sou'wester", appears in Poems: New and Old, in Songs of the Fleet, no. 2, first published 1912 [author's text checked 1 time against a primary source]
Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)
- by Charles Villiers Stanford, Sir (1852 - 1924), "The song of the sou'wester", published 1910 [baritone, mixed chorus, and orchestra], from Songs of the Fleet, no. 2. [text not verified]
Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]
This text was added to the website: 2008-12-06
Line count: 32
Word count: 230