The "Kentucky"

A poem by Madison Julius Cawein

(Battleship, launched March 24, 1898.)

I


Here's to her who bears the name
Of our State;
May the glory of her fame
Be as great!
In the battle's dread eclipse,
When she opens iron lips,
When our ships confront the ships
Of the foe,
May each word of steel she utters carry woe!
Here's to her!


II


Here's to her, who, like a knight
Mailed of old,
From far sea to sea the Right
Shall uphold.
May she always deal defeat,--
When contending navies meet,
And the battle's screaming sleet
Blinds and stuns,--
With the red, terrific thunder of her guns.
Here's to her!


III


Here's to her who bears the name
Of our State;
May the glory of her fame
Be as great!
Like a beacon, like a star,
May she lead our squadrons far,--
When the hurricane of war
Shakes the world,--
With her pennant in the vanward broad unfurled.
Here's to her!

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