On Board the Cumberland
Stand to your guns, men!" Morris cried.
Small need to pass the word;
Our men at quarters ranged themselves,
Before the drum was heard.
And then began the sailors' jests:
"What thing is that, I say?"
"A long-shore meeting-house adrift
Is standing down the bay! "
A frown came over Morris' face;
The strange, dark craft he knew;
"That is the iron Merrimac,
Manned by a Rebel crew.
"So shot your guns, and point them straight;
Before this day goes by,
We'll try of what her metal's made."
A cheer was our reply.
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