by Henry Newbolt, Sir (1862 - 1938)

The Fighting Téméraire
Language: English 
It was eight bells ringing,
For the morning watch was done,
And the gunner's lads were singing
As they polished every gun.

It was eight bells ringing,
And the gunner's lads were singing,
For the ship she rode a-swinging
As they polished every gun.

Oh! to see the linstock lighting,
Téméraire! Téméraire!
Oh! to hear the round shot biting,
Téméraire! Téméraire!

Oh! to see the linstock lighting,
And to hear the round shot biting,
For we're all in love with fighting
On the Fighting Téméraire.1

It was noontide ringing,
And the battle just begun,
When the ship her way was winging
As they loaded every gun.

It was noontide ringing,
When the ship her way was winging,
And the gunner's lads were singing
As they loaded every gun.

There'll be many grim and gory,
Téméraire! Téméraire!
There'll be few to tell the story,
Téméraire! Téméraire!

There'll be many grim and gory,
There'll be few to tell the story,
But we'll all be one in glory
With the fighting Téméraire.

There's a far bell ringing
At the setting of the sun,
And a phantom voice is singing
Of the great days done.

There's a far bell ringing,
And a phantom voice is singing
Of renown for ever clinging
To the great days done.

Now the sunset breezes shiver,
Téméraire! Téméraire!
And she's fading down the river,
Téméraire! Téméraire!

Now the sunset breezes shiver,
And she's fading down the river,
But in England's song for ever
She's the Fighting Téméraire.

View original text (without footnotes)
1Author's note: The last two stanzas have been misunderstood. It seems, therefore, necessary to state that they are intended to refer to Turner's picture in the National Gallery of "The Fighting Téméraire tugged to her Last Berth."

Authorship:

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive):

Settings in other languages, adaptations, or excerpts:

  • Also set in German (Deutsch), a translation by Detlev von Liliencron (1844 - 1909) , "Das Schlachtschiff Téméraire. 1796.", subtitle: "Frei nach Henry Newbolt" ; composed by Georg Vollerthun.

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2008-12-06
Line count: 48
Word count: 248