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The Young Earl of Essex’s Victory Over the Emperor of Germany

No: 288; variant: 288A

  1. COME, sound up your trumpets and beat up your drums, And let's go to sea with a valiant good cheer, In search of a mighty vast navy of ships, The like has not been for these fifty long year. Raderer two, tandaro te, Raderer, tandorer, tan do re.
  2. The queen she provided a navy of ships, With sweet flying streamers, so glorious to see, Rich top and top-gallants, captains and lieutenants, Some forty, some fifty, brass-pieces and three.
  3. They had not saild past a week on the seas, Not passing a week and days two or three, But they were aware of the proud emperor, Both him and all his proud company.
  4. When he beheld our powerful fleet, Sailing along in their glory and pride, He was amazed at their valour and fame, Then to his warlike command[er]s he cry'd.
  5. These were the words of the old emperor: Pray who is this that is sailing to me? If he be king that weareth a crown, Yet I am a better man than he.
  6. 'It is not a king, nor lord of a crown, Which now to the seas with his navy is come, But the young Earl of Essex, the Queen's lieutenant, Who fears no foes in Christendom.'
  7. 'Oh! is that lord then come to the seas? Let us tack about and be steering away; I have heard so much of his father before That I will not fight with young Essex today.'
  8. O then bespoke the emperor's son, As they were tacking and steering away, 'Give me, royal father, this navy of s[h]ips, And I will go fight with Essex today.'
  9. 'Take them with all my heart, loving son, Most of them are of a capital size; But should he do as his father has done, Farewel thine honour and mine likewise.'
  10. With cannons hot and thundering shot, These two gallants fought on the main, And as it was young Essex's lot, The emperor's son by him was taen.
  11. 'Give me my son,' the emperor cry'd, 'Who you this day have taken from me, And I'll give to the[e] three keys of gold, The one shall be of High Germany.'
  12. 'I care not for thy three keys of gold, Which thou hast profferd to set him free, But thy son he shall to England sail, And go before the queen with me.'
  13. 'Then have I fifty good ships of the best, As good as ever were sent to the sea, And eer my son into England sail, They shall go all for good company.'
  14. They had not fought this famous battle, They had not fought it hours three, But some lost legs, and some lost arms, And some lay tumbling in the sea.
  15. Essex he got this battle likewise, Tho 'twas the hotest that ever was seen; Home he returnd with a wonderful prize, And brought the emperor's son to the queen.
  16. O then bespoke the prentices all, Living in London, both proper and tall, In a kind letter, sent straight to the queen, For Essex's sake they would fight all.