The Winning of Cales

Thomas Percy

Long had the proud Spaniards
Advanced to conquer us,
Threatening our country
With fire and sword;
Often preparing
Their navy most sumptuous,
"With all the provision
That Spain could afford.
Dub a-dub, dub.
Thus strike the drums,
Tau-ta-ra, ta-ra-ra,
The Englishman comes.

To the seas presently
Went our lord admiral,
With knights courageous,
And captains full good;
The earl of Essex,
A prosperous general,
With him prepared
To pass the salt flood.
Dub a-dub, etc.

At Plymouth speedily,
Took they ships valiantly;
Braver ships never
Were seen under sail;
With their fair colours spread,
And streamers o'er their head;
Now, bragging Spaniards,
Take heed of your tail.
Dub a-dub, etc.

Unto Cales cunningly,
Came we most happily,
Where the kings navy
Did secretly ride;
Being upon their back,
Piercing their buts of sack,
Ere that the Spaniards
Our coming descry'd.
Tan-ta-ra, ta-ra-ra.
The Englishman comes;
Bounce a-bounce, bounce a-bounce,
Off went the guns.

Great was the crying,
Running and riding,
Which at that season
Was made at that place;
Then beacons were fired,
As need was required;
To hide their great treasure.
They had little space:
"Alas!" they cryed,
"English men comes."

There you might see the ships,
How they were fired fast,
And how the men drown'd
Themselves in the sea;
There you may hear them cry.
Wail and weep piteously;
When as they saw no shift
To escape thence away.
Dub a-dub, etc.

The great Saint Philip,
The pride of the Spaniards,
Was burnt to the bottom,
And sunk in the sea;
But the Saint Andrew,
And eke the Saint Matthew,
We took in fight manfully,
And brought them away.
Dub a-dub, etc.

The earl of Essex,
Most valiant and hardy.
With horsemen and footmen
March'd towards the town;
The enemies which saw them.
Full greatly affrighted.
Did fly for their safeguard,
And durst not come down.
Dub a-dub, etc.

"Now," quoth the noble earl,
"Courage, ray soldiers all!
right and be valiant,
And spoil you shall have;
And well rewarded all,
From the great to the small:
But look that the women
And children you save."
Dub a-dub, etc.

The Spaniards at that sight,
Saw 't was in vain to fight,
Hung up their flags of truce,
Yielding the town;
We march'd in presently,
Decking the walls on high
With our English colours,
Which purchas'd renown.
Dub a-dub, etc.

Entering the houses then,
And of the richest men,
For gold and treasure
We searched each day;
In some places we did find
Pye baking in the oven,
Meat at the fire roasting,
And men run away.
Dub a-dub, etc.

Full of rich merchandise,
Every shop we did see,
Damask and sattins
And velvet full fair;
Which soldiers measure out
By the length of their swords
Of all commodities,
Each one hath share.
Dub a-dub, etc.

Thus Cales was taken,
And our brave general
March'd to the market-place.
There he did stand ;
There many prisoners
Of good account were took ;
Many crav'd mercy,
And mercy they found.
Dub a-dub, etc.

When as our general
Saw they delayed time,
And would not ransom
The town as they said.
With their fair wainscots,
Their presses and bedsteads,
Their joint-stools and tables,
A fire we made:
And when the town burnt in a flame,
With tan-ta-ra, tau-ta-ra-ra,
From thence we came.

Main Location:

Cadiz, Spain