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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
The Song of the Pirate
By José de Espronceda (1808–1842)
 
THE BREEZE fair aft, all sails on high,
  Ten guns on each side mounted seen,
She does not cut the sea, but fly,
  A swiftly sailing brigantine;
A pirate bark, the ‘Dreaded’ named,        5
For her surpassing boldness famed,
On every sea well known and shore,
From side to side their boundaries o’er.
 
The moon in streaks the waves illumes;
  Hoarse groans the wind the rigging through;        10
In gentle motion raised, assumes
  The sea a silvery shade with blue;
While singing gaily on the poop,
The pirate captain, in a group,
Sees Europe here, there Asia lies,        15
And Stamboul in the front arise.
 
Sail on, my swift one! nothing fear;
  Nor calm, nor storm, nor foeman’s force
Shall make thee yield in thy career,
  Or turn thee from thy course.        20
Despite the English cruisers fleet,
  We have full twenty prizes made;
And see, their flags beneath my feet
  A hundred nations laid.
My treasure is my gallant bark,        25
  My only God is liberty;
My law is might, the wind my mark,
  My country is the sea.
 
There blindly kings fierce wars maintain
  For palms of land, when here I hold        30
As mine, whose power no laws restrain,
  Whate’er the seas infold.
Nor is there shore around whate’er,
  Or banner proud, but of my might
Is taught the valorous proofs to bear,        35
  And made to feel my right.
My treasure is my gallant bark,
  My only God is liberty;
My law is might, the wind my mark,
  My country is the sea.        40
 
Look, when a ship our signals ring
  Full sail to fly, how quick she’s veer’d!
For of the sea I am the king,
  My fury’s to be feared;
But equally with all I share        45
  Whate’er the wealth we take supplies;
I only seek the matchless fair,
  My portion of the prize.
My treasure is my gallant bark,
  My only God is liberty;        50
My law is might, the wind my mark,
  My country is the sea.
 
I am condemned to die! I laugh;
  For if my fates are kindly sped,
My doomer from his own ship’s staff        55
  Perhaps I’ll hang instead.
And if I fall, why what is life?
  For lost I gave it then as due,
When from slavery’s yoke in strife
  A rover I withdrew.        60
My treasure is my gallant bark,
  My only God is liberty;
My law is might, the wind my mark,
  My country is the sea.
 
My music is the north wind’s roar,        65
  The noise when round the cable runs,
The bellowings of the Black Sea’s shore,
  And rolling of my guns.
And as the thunders loudly sound,
  And furious as the tempest rave,        70
I calmly rest in sleep profound,
  So rocked upon the wave.
My treasure is my gallant bark,
  My only God is liberty;
My law is might, the wind my mark,        75
  My country is the sea.
 
 
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