The Flying Dutchman and The St. Brier

I

 

Strung high that Union Jack

On a British Man o’ War

The decks were clean,

The men well fed—

Off to seas from Albion’s shore.

 

Warped planks

And blood soaked boards

On that phantom ship of lore;

The Flying Dutchman with starving tars

Their walking bodies torn.

 

On the gangplank went a swab

A seaman named Ol’ Stew.

He hadn’t found his sea legs

So fell into the lagoon.

So, Ol’ Lieutenant Percy

Jumped into the cold-dark brine.

He grabbed this poor, good sailor

And saved him in ‘ knick-of-time.

 

On the Flying Dutchman

The mangled tars did cry,

“A man without his sea legs

“Will fall at once and die!”

 

The Dutchman saw a dinghy

They rid to it and hailed.

With the Jolly Roger high

They strung those victims pale.

Across the barnacled bottoms

Those live ones did get strung.

When brought back up the poopdeck

They were but bloody dung.

Their treasures were then stolen

Their women made concubines.—

The Dinghy that finds the Dutchman

Would have been better off to die.

 

The British Man of War, St. Brier

Found a dinghy, too.

They pulled up the cold bodies

And fed them lemon stew.

They gave them hot potatoes

And they fed them salted beef.

They nursed those wounds—

Were not so lewd—

To be brought back to Albion’s reefs.

 

There was a ship on fire

In the middle of the sea.

The Flying Dutchman found it

And raped and pillaged for fee.

Across the bows they fired

They made the women’s breasts bare.

They chopped to little pieces

All the men they had found there.

 

The St. Brier found a like ship

Stranded with no sails.

They brought aboard the survivors,

Secured a passage without fail.

They used whale oil to balm them,

They fed them with fattened meat.

They brought that crew asunder

To bring them back to Albion’s reefs.

 

II

 

One day St. Brier

Found stranded ship at sea.

Its flags flew Dutch,

As if the VOC

It signaled itself for peace.

The St. Brier sailed to see it

To bring it back to Albion’s reefs.

So! Open fired the Dutchman,

The Jolly Roger here now preened.

 

Grapeshot and musket balls,

Down fell seven on St. Brier

Which bow to bow would cull

As both ships set afire.

The ships cracked their brawny hulls

 

Ropes and masts were tangled

As men flung from sail to sail.

Guns there were, and great slaughter,

Dutch and Britt were slain.

The Dutchman’s crew were mangled

But the Man of War‘s wore red.

 

British troops in uniform

Did slash their swords in threes.

The Dutchman‘s hull caught fire

As the Brier‘s men cut free.

The Dutchman was near sunk

To swoon down into the sea,—

If not for Stew that outlier

The Brier would not be freed.

 

Brave Stew climbed the crow’s nest

He saw the ropes taught frill.

He took a sharpened hatchet

And hacked that thicket pill.

Like a lumberer up a tree

Stew hacked that Dutchman‘s mast.

It was near over, the Brier almost capped—

If the mast had not been snapped.

 

Stew held fast as St. Brier rocked

The Dutchman sank a tick.

The Dutchman‘s crew aboard St. Brier

Were sentenced on the Brig.

The old Judge aboard the Brier

There for this good thing

Who killed five of the Dutchman‘s crew

Sentenced each hang by string.

 

Ol’ Stew was given a medal

He was knighted by the Queen.

Ol’ Stew who had not sea legs

Was he who set St. Brier free.

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