Pirates' Song.

A poem by Victor Marie Hugo

("Nous emmenions en esclavage.")

[VIII., March, 1828.]


We're bearing fivescore Christian dogs
To serve the cruel drivers:
Some are fair beauties gently born,
And some rough coral-divers.
We hardy skimmers of the sea
Are lucky in each sally,
And, eighty strong, we send along
The dreaded Pirate Galley.

A nunnery was spied ashore,
We lowered away the cutter,
And, landing, seized the youngest nun
Ere she a cry could utter;
Beside the creek, deaf to our oars,
She slumbered in green alley,
As, eighty strong, we sent along
The dreaded Pirate Galley.

"Be silent, darling, you must come -
The wind is off shore blowing;
You only change your prison dull
For one that's splendid, glowing!
His Highness doats on milky cheeks,
So do not make us dally" -
We, eighty strong, who send along
The dreaded Pirate Galley.

She sought to flee back to her cell,
And called us each a devil!
We dare do aught becomes Old Scratch,
But like a treatment civil,
So, spite of buffet, prayers, and calls -
Too late her friends to rally -
We, eighty strong, bore her along
Unto the Pirate Galley.

The fairer for her tears profuse,
As dews refresh the flower,
She is well worth three purses full,
And will adorn the bower -
For vain her vow to pine and die
Thus torn from her dear valley:
She reigns, and we still row along
The dreaded Pirate Galley.

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