Random Ramblings

Random Ramblings: Personal observations on a wide variety of subjects. Photographs of creatures and things that are taken on seeing the unusual as well as everyday things.

Heart of oak

Come cheer up, my lads,
'tis to glory we steer,
To add something more
To this wonderful year,
To honour we call,
Not to press you like slaves,
For who are so free
As the sons of the waves?

       Heart of oak are our ships,
   Jolly tars are our men,
   We always are ready,
   Steady, boys, steady,
   We'll fight and we'll conquer
   Again and again.

We ne'er see our foes …
But we wish them to stay,
They never see us
But they wish us away,
If they run, why we follow,
And run them ashore,
And if they won't fight us,
We cannot do more.

       Heart of oak are our ships,
   Jolly tars are our men,
   We always are ready,
   Steady, boys, steady,
   We'll fight and we'll conquer
   Again and again.

They swear they'll invade us,
These terrible foes,
They frighten our women,
Our children and beaus,
But should their flat bottoms
In darkness get o'er,
Still Britons they'll find
To receive them on shore.

       Heart of oak are our ships,
   Jolly tars are our men,
   We always are ready,
   Steady, boys, steady,
   We'll fight and we'll conquer
   Again and again.

Our worthy forefathers,
Let's give them a cheer,
To climates unknown,
Did courageously steer.
Through oceans to deserts,
For freedom they came,
And dying, bequeathed us
Their freedom and fame.

Heart of oak are our ships,
   Jolly tars are our men,
   We always are ready,
   Steady, boys, steady,
   We'll fight and we'll conquer
   Again and again.

Written by David Garrick in the year of our Lord 1759

Quercus robur – the English Oak

Oak

 

The oak is the backbone of Britain and there is much in our history to show how important this beautiful ancient tree is. The English oak lives up to 800 years some occasionally reach a few years more. It is a hard wood deciduous tree and has been protected for hundreds of years – this applies whether it has an accidental birth through an odd fall of an acorn or has been purposely planted. Permission must always be sort to fell an oak - even if it is on your land and may be close to your home, growing perhaps just a few feet from your own front door – you cannot chop it down.

Oak tree with acorns

An oak with acorns

There are many legends entangled in the history of the oak tree. It was considered to be one of the most sacred of trees ‘the tree that the gods sought out in the mighty storms.’ It is thought that in ancient times, lightening was (and in fact still is) attracted by the tallest of the oaks which would often split down the trunk at the centre of the tree and so become ‘touched’ by the gods. The wood of the tree would thus be considered to be very special timber with exceptional powers of strength and durability.

Oaks were used to build British ships hundreds of years ago but they reached their most dangerous in their swiftness and sureness when copper was attached to their prow. Rather like modern athletes requiring sleekness for speed – ancient ship builders found that by adding copper the prow of the ship kept clear of life (not one barnacle would attach itself to the copper and this kept the line of the ship sharp and it was able to cut through the water with frightening aggression). It was both the oak and it’s copper adornment that gave Britain the edge as the 80 English galleons chased the Spanish Armada.

6 comments:

Ann said...

Very interesting post. Loved that poem and all the information about oak trees. Very clever combining the copper in building ships

Jan from BetterSpines said...

Haven't heard that for many years, but the tune just jumped into my head!

BK said...

Very interesting post; especially reading the part about how copper being added to it can make it cut through the water in greater speed.

SANDY said...

Loved the poem, and neat info about the oak. I love trees.

Sandy

Edna / HandmadeDiva said...

We have an oak tree. It provides nice shade, but the acorns are endless. I rake and rake come fall.

Ish Diamante said...

great piece of poem...