photo-9

“Look, Lawrence, see you through this lens
The cannon setup on their ship?
Their guns are placed in low suspense,
The foe ships’ hulls apart to rip.
Those heavy weapons slow their pace,
And pull their vessel deeper down.
If round the fluyt our ship we race,
This battle we can turn around!”

So caught our sails the starboard draft,
As with each gust we gather pace,
And nearing fast the cargo craft,
Forsaking combat for a race.
The lightness of the Phoebe’s frame,
Quite weak against a hit direct,
It gives the ship its speed and fame
For hard manoeuvers to perfect.

As winds inflate the Phoebe’s sails,
The Captain eyes with calm his prey:
The fluyt, which by the frigate trails,
Approached by us with no delay.
The panicked frigate races forth,
And swerving leftwards past the fluyt,
While fighting tempests pushing north,
The Phoebe with its guns to shoot.

Our greater speed extends our rifts,
Evading thus their cannons’ aim,
The laden fluyt near helpless drifts,
As we prepare its goods to claim.
Two minutes past, their guns we skirt,
And round the fluyt we turn at last,
It floats between our ships, inert,
Its captain, beaten, pacing fast.