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For

up stood, for out stepped, for in struck,

amid all these,

A captain a lieutenant? a mate, — first,

second, third?

No such man of mark, and meet
With his betters to compete !

But a simple Breton sailor pressed by Tourville for the fleet,

A poor coasting-pilot he,— Hervé Riel the Croisickese.

And "What mockery or malice have we here?" cries Hervé Riel.

"Are you mad, you Malouins? Are you cowards, fools, or rogues?

Talk to me of rocks and shoals ? — me, who took the soundings, tell

On my fingers, every bank, every shallow, every swell.

'Twixt the offing here and Grève, where the river disembogues?

Are you bought by English gold? Is it love

the lying 's for?

Morn and eve, night and day,

Have I piloted your bay,

Entered free and anchored fast at the foot of
Solidor.

"Burn the fleet, and ruin France? That were worse than fifty Hogues!

Sirs, they know I speak the truth! Sirs, believe me, there's a way!

Only let me lead the line,

Have the biggest ship to steer,
Get this 'Formidable' clear,

Make the others follow mine,

And I lead them, most and least, by a pas

sage I know well,

Right to Solidor, past Grève,

And there lay them safe and sound;

And, if one ship misbehave,

Keel so much as grate the ground,

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Why, I've nothing but my life: here 's my

head!" cries Hervé Riel.

Not a minute more to wait.

“Steer us in, then, small and great!

Take the helm, lead the line, save the

squadron !" cried its chief. Captains, give the sailor place!

He is admiral, in brief.

Still the north-wind, by God's grace.
See the noble fellow's face,

As the big ship, with a bound,

Clears the entry like a hound,

Keeps the passage as its inch of way were the

wide sea's profound!

See, safe through shoal and rock,

How they follow in a flock!

Not a ship that misbehaves, not a keel that

grates the ground,

Not a spar that comes to grief!

The peril, see, is past !

All are harbored to the last!

And, just as Hervé Riel hollas "Anchor!"

sure as fate,

Up the English come,

- too late!

So the storm subsides to calm :
They see the green trees wave

On the heights o'erlooking Grève : Hearts that bled are stanched with balm. "Just our rapture to enhance,

Let the English rake the bay, Gnash their teeth, and glare askance As they cannonade away!

'Neath rampired Solidor pleasant riding on

the Rance!"

How hope succeeds despair on each captain's countenance !

Outburst all with one accord,

"This is paradise for hell!

Let France, let France's king,

Thank the man that did the thing!"

What a shout, and all one word,

"Hervé Riel!"

As he stepped in front once more,
Not a symptom of surprise

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In the frank blue Breton eyes, -
Just the same man as before.
Then said Damfreville, "My friend,
I must speak out at the end,
Though I find the speaking hard :
Praise is deeper than the lips;
You have saved the king his ships;
You must name your own reward.
Faith, our sun was near eclipse!
Demand whate'er you will,

France remains your debtor still.

Ask to heart's content, and have! or my name 's not Damfreville."

Then a beam of fun outbroke

On the bearded mouth that spoke,
As the honest heart laughed through

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