From the recording Bound Away
(Printed in The Bird of Birds, 1818.) Songs & Ballads Of The Maine Lumberjacks / Roland Palmer Gray p149 Revised by Fred Gosbee 2013 using the tune "Portsmouth"
There were many sea battles in the War of 1812 but none captured the public imagination like this one. Both captains were young, both had their first command, both were killed in the battle and are buried side-by-side in Portland, Maine. I added some lines to make that clear. The tune was a popular march of the times.
Come all ye sons of Freedom,
Come, listen unto me,
I 'll tell of an engagement
Which happened on the sea,
Between the Enterprise and Boxer,
Two noble ships of fame,
Though the Enterprise is but small
Soon she made the Boxer tame.
We sailed out of Portland harbor
In a sweet and pleasant gale,
The saucy Boxer hovering round,
She proudly spread her sail.
It being about Meridian
When we to them drew near,
We hoisted Yankee Colors,
And gave to them three cheers.
It was on the third of September,
It being a glorious day,
The Enterprise and Boxer,
Had their a bloody fray.
Until the Enterprise box'd her,
And quickly made them see
That we were Yankee heroes
Just from America
So now we¹ve gain'd the victory,
My Yankee hearts of steel,
But heavy was the price we paid,
To force our foes to yield.
For in the fight was Burgess hit
He got his mortal blow
Alas our young commander
Shall see Portland town no more.
When we came on board the Boxer
ŒT would grieve your hearts full sore
To see all those proud Englishmen
Lying in their gore
And there upon the quarterdeck
Where officers do tread
Their young captain, Samuel Blyth,
Was found among the dead.
In a Portland cemetery
Those two young heroes lie,
God bless Lieutenant Burrows,
And Captain Blyth likewise
From the roaring din of battle,
The province of the brave,
They slumber for eternity
In the silence of their grave.