A sailor she is, her name is Red Nelly.
From the wharf at Tortuga as a babe she was saved,
By the Captain alone, high was the tide.
The mother had vanquished, her life one of dread,
As brought by the French to occupy men.
A pirate’s life is the scandal of Red.
A long auburn plait falls down from her head.
It reaches her hip, a trademark well known,
For the red of her hair is the red of her heart.
A cutlass she wields, to bleed men apart.
In trousers untanned, belt, hat and boots.
Red has strength of a dragon to fight and to loot.
The sloop from Bermuda is thought of in awe.
It carries fourteen guns, room for no more.
The English and French are at odds to agree
Taking Sea’s Star would bring treasure and glee.
One dark misty night on the warm Caribbean,
Not a sound could be heard, cards all played out.
Red kept her watch to the ebb and the roll,
Licking her lips, tasting salt of her birth
And wonders when next they will fight for the gold.
A ship full of Spaniards, hidden by dark,
Greed in their minds, cold is their hearts.
A cannon sounds boom, the sailors awake
With rum in their guts and grease on their face,
A shudder from all, knowing this is their fate.
The captain feels grieved, when the ship pulls up close.
The Spanish swing over, knives sticking the chests
Of his crew, a brave lot, they fight back as a force.
Stabbing and cutting, knives holding forth.
The depths of the ocean may be their last port.
A fair buccaneer for whom sailors have toiled,
An old dog is the captain; his time may be near.
He remembers a child, Red laughing and free,
Til her softness was stolen, no more to be seen.
The Spaniard attacks, his eyes wide, no fear.
A figure emerges and lets out a roar.
It is Red and her cutlass with rage in her heart
She slices the throat of the Spaniard with ease.
Blood sprays on her chest, her scourge is unleashed.
One by one she does kill to even the score.
A tale told by few on land and afar.
Outdone by Red Nelly, a shame, an untruth.
A safeguard is Red, for the captain, her pa.