The exploits of Constitution and her crew set to verse by sailors and supporters alike.
If poetry is the spontaneous outflow of powerful feelings,” as William Wordsworth would have it, then the ballads, odes, and elegies in the USS Constitution Museum’s collection may be numbered among the greatest products of American pens. Effusive and genuine, the ditties scribbled by seamen and poetasters in the wake of USS Constitution‘s famous victories bubble over with awkward rhymes and forced metrics. And yet their very ungainliness charms the reader. There is nothing unseemly in their patriotic pride, and their poetic voice is the voice of the untutored sailor. One can almost hear those men in the murky recesses of some waterfront grog shop, tumblers in hand, belting out a rough chorus to an old familiar tune.