William Makepeace Thackeray

(1811-1863 / India)

The Red Flag - Poem by William Makepeace Thackeray

Where the quivering lightning flings
His arrows from out the clouds,
And the howling tempest sings
And whistles among the shrouds,
'Tis pleasant, 'tis pleasant to ride
Along the foaming brine—
Wilt be the Rover's bride?
Wilt follow him, lady mine?
Hurrah!
For the bonny, bonny brine.

Amidst the storm and rack,
You shall see our galley pass,
As a serpent, lithe and black,
Glides through the waving grass.
As the vulture swift and dark,
Down on the ring-dove flies,
You shall see the Rovers bark
Swoop down upon his prize.
Hurrah!
For the bonny, bonny prize.

Over her sides we dash,
We gallop across her deck—
Ha! there's a ghastly gash
On the merchant-captain's neck—
Well shot, well shot, old Ned!
Well struck, well struck, black James!
Our arms are red, and our foes are dead,
And we leave a ship in flames!
Hurrah!
For the bonny, bonny flames!


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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