Still forward moves its oaken frame,
As sea waves pound the Phoebe‘s hull,
And mimicking the fog’s own aim,
Their mists attempt our sights to cull.
Both with the spyglass and without,
I peered on through the gaps that’d come,
For never were we free of doubt,
That to a foe we might succumb.
Then just ahead a mast appeared,
Atop it flag in red and blue,
The emblem of the Dutch revered,
Out from the fog the winds it blew.
Emerging from those mists of grey,
Two vessels’ bowsprits in salute,
One’s cannons scan the seas for prey,
Protecting thus its pregnant fluyt.
(Your brows suggest an air confused,
I sense you’ve long not been at sea,
Your innocence of course excused,
Let me explain the fluyt to thee:
So rich the Dutch became through trade,
We pirates rarer, too, had been,
That cargo ships’ guns off were laid,
And spacious fluyts were born therein.)
As though by instinct, I respond:
While lowering the telescope,
I turn my sight from ships beyond,
My hand already grasps the rope,
To Damos I call out: “Ahead!
A Dutchmen’s convoy headed west!
A fluyt that’s to a frigate wed,”
And down the rope I join the rest.
The Captain’s brow is rucked in thought,
His eyes, they pierce the foes at hand,
It seems at unawares we’re caught,
And menaced by their cannons grand.
Yet pointing at the frigate near,
The Captain’s voice now fills the air,
“Fine Lawrence, starboard must you steer,
I have a plan to end this scare!”