Venanzio Rauzzini
(1746 - 1810)

Rauzzini : Jervis and Duncan, or The Year 'Ninety Seven : illustration

Jervis and Duncan, or The Year 'Ninety Seven
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A song of rejoicing at the events of 1797, a critical year for Britain in the French Revolutionary Wars. It is not clear whether it was intended for public performance (at a Bath concert, perhaps with a soprano soloist) or (perhaps more likely) at a gathering of the Bath Harmonic Society, for a male solo and chorus.

William Meyler, a successful and influential Bath bookseller and publisher, was a fellow-member of Rauzzini's in the Bath Harmonic Society. He was more active than other Bath residents in the Revolutionary Wars, serving as secretary to the Bath branch of the Association for Preserving Liberty, Property and the Constitution of Great Britain. A similar collaboration dating from 1789 and marking the king's recovery to health, "The Genius of Britain", was sung in the Bath Theatre by Charles Incledon and was reported in the Bath Chronicle, but does not appear to have survived.
Lyrics: William Meyler

Thy navy, old England, has long been thy pride,
Protected and aided by heav'n;
But its triumph ne'er roll'd on Glory's full tide,
Till the glorious year ninety seven.
Tho' tarnish'd at first by some vile mutineers,
In vesture of treason array'd,
Britannia sat wretched, her eyes filled with tears.
Bewailing her laurel decay'd.
Britannia bewailing her laurel decay'd.

The staunch British seamen beheld her and blush'd
At a base and degenerate crew,
While each to his duty manfully rush'd,
And swore to great George to be true.
Then under bold Jervis they instantly steer'd
To Vincent's be-sea-girted rock;
Tho' Spain with her numbers tremendous appear'd,
We gave proud Spain's boasted navy a shock.
Britannia gave Spain's boasted navy a shock.

Then Batavia presum'd at ocean's dread right,
But Duncan appear'd on the waves;
The seagods had ne'er witness'd so furious a fight,
They shudder'd amazed in their caves.
Long dubious and awful pale Victory sat,
Till broke was the Hollanders' line;
Who saw 'twas in vain to contend against fate
That gave Britons a valour divine.
Britannia, thy sons have a valour divine.

The Dutch stood aghast on their cannon-struck shore,
Despair and destruction in sight,
Their ships all dismasted, sides streaming with gore,
Unable to run as to fight.
De Winter and Reynter, the admirals twain,
With nearly the whole of their host,
Grac'd the brave British Duncan's invincible train;
So vanishd their maritime boast.
Britannia, thus vanish'd their maritime boast.