James Hook
(1746 - 1827)

Hook : The Glorious First of June : illustration

The Glorious First of June
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Written for performance at Vauxhall in 1794, as part of the national celebrations of Lord Howe's victory; William Darley was the first singer.

The battle was the largest naval engagement of the French Revolutionary Wars. Whilst not the conclusive victory celebrated (both nations (with reason) claimed a victory), it made Howe a national hero.
Lyrics: Mr Vint

Come, let us raise the warlike lay,
Let Fame her trump attune,
In glad remembrance of the day,
The Glorious First of June,
When British tars, as oft e'erwhile,
Did new renown obtain,
And boldly proved their favour'd isle
Still mistress of the main.
Triumphant shall our navies plough
The seas from shore to shore,
And France in future times know HOWE
To conquer as before.

Emerging from his bed of rocks
Old Neptune eager rose,
Then sternly shook his briny locks
To view the mighty foes.
"Vain Gallia!", cried the frowning god,
"Detested be their cause,
Who'd rule the world with iron rod
And break true freedom's laws".
Those foaming billows soon shall flow,
Bestain'd with purple gore,
And Frenchmen to their cost know HOWE
To conquer as before.

The foe defied this dread degree,
Resolv'd with naval might,
To win the empire of the sea
Or perish in the fight.
Tremendous then the battle raged,
The waves seemed all on fire;
And dauntless ship with ship engaged,
While Fame did each inspire.
Some struck, while others, moving slow
To gain their native shore
Proclaim that British tars know HOWE
To conquer as before.