The Pirate

The Pirate

After José de Espronceda

 

With ten cannons, polished on board,

With full sails before the wind,

As swift as the wings of a gull,

A skiff prowls through the flood:

The skiff of the pirate Herr,

Known on all the seas

And from one beach to another,

Baptized “the Shark” for his courage.

 

In dark water flits the moon,

The wind whistles and lashes the rigging:

A long silver streak runs

Wide through choppy blue waters.

And the pirate captain

Sits and sings at edge of the rudder,

Asia left, right the beaches of Europe,

And sings and sings and swings his hat:

Fly, my sailors, fly

Undaunted;

Fly and sail to victory!

Mock the storms, the cliffs and the reef,

The whims of heaven, the enemy ships,

Dare to die for your Herr!

Twenty prizes

Have we captured,

Laughed out loud

At national caps;

A hundred nations

Lie here at my feet

And salute us

With their flags.

 

For my skiff is my wealth,

For my law is my desire,

My God is the wind, freedom my right,

My only country the sea!

 

Kings fight overseas

In blind greed,

Over a few acres of beets.

Look, I laugh! My fields

Reach as far as the wide wild

Sea unfurls its banner of freedom.

 

There is no pennant

That glistens like it,

There is no coast,

Where it borders

That has not

Saluted my dynasty,

That has not recognized

My right to rule.

For my skiff is my wealth,

For my law is my desire,

My God is the wind, freedom my right,

My only country the sea!

 

Hardly a shrine to Mars boys:

Ship in sight!

It runs now with full lungs,

Hoi, all sails full, turns tail and runs,

It runs and runs; for this lout

Doesn’t love the king of the sea.

But as brothers,

You and I,

My faithful.

We divide the loot,

The only thing

I take for myself,

Without dispute:

You, my beauty, you!

For my skiff is my wealth,

For my law is my desire,

My God is the wind, freedom my right,

My only country, the sea!

 

Damned to hellfire,

To death on a rope,

I sit and laugh at you!

Guard yourself, wretches: whom I desire

I will hang on the yard-arm,

Perhaps from his own brig!

And if I fall:

That is life!

I had already back then

Given it up for lost,

When I broke the chain,

When I, a hero

Created my own law,

My own world.

For my skiff is my wealth,

For my law is my desire,

My God is the wind, freedom my right,

My only country, the sea!

 

 

Melodies like blustering

Organs throng and

Play around me in the night storm, swishing,

My quivering ropes moaning,

My cannons booming thunder

And the black seas roaring.

With their violent

Songs around me

I go to rest,

Surrounded by surging waves.

Rejoicing tongues

Surround me here,

Sung to sleep,

By the sea, by the sea

For my skiff is my wealth,

For my law is my desire,

My God is the wind, freedom my right,

My only country, the sea!

 

In dark water flits the moon,

The wind whistles and lashes the rigging:

A long silver streak runs

Wide through choppy blue waters.

And the pirate captain

Leans silently, high on the rudder’s edge,

Left Asia, right the beaches of Europe,

His hat pulled down deep over his forehead.

 

With ten cannons, polished on board,

With full sails before the wind,

Swift as the wings of a gull,

Prowls a skiff through the flood:

The skiff of the pirate Herr,

Known on all the seas

And from one beach to another,

Baptized “the Shark” for his courage.

 

This entry was posted in Anarchist World, German authors, German Literature, Joe Bandel, poems, poetry, Richard Dehmel, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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