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The Bold Princess Royal

Robert Burns 1759 (Alloway) – 1796 (Dumfries)

O on the fourteenth day of February we sailed from the land
In the bold Princess Royal bound for Newfoundland.
We had forty bright sailors for our ship's companie,
And boldly from the eastward to the westward sailed we.

We had not been sailing scarce days two or three
When our man from the masthead a sail he did see.
She bore down upon us to see what we were,
When from under her mizzen black colours she wore.

My God cries our Captain what shall we do now
For there comes a bold pirate to rob us I know.
O no, cries our chief mate it cannot be so
For we'll spread out our reef boys and from her we'll go.

And when this bold pirate came up alongside
Through a loudspeaking trumpet he said 'Who are you?'
Our Captain walked the quarterdeck and he answered him so
'We come from fair London and we're bound for Cairo.'

Then draw up your courses and heave your ship to
For I've got a letter. I'll send on by you.
We'll draw up our courses and heave our ship to
But it will be in some harbour not alongside of you.

He chased us to windward for all that long day
He chased us to windward and night and a day
He chased us to windward but could not prevail
Whilst the bold Princess Royal did show them her tail.

Thank God cries our captain, since the pirate has gone
'Bring a cask of good brandy, fore and aft let it run.
Go down to your grog boys, and be of good cheer,
As long as we've sea-room my boys never fear

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:27 min read

Robert Burns

Robert Burns was a Scottish poet and lyricist. more…

All Robert Burns poems | Robert Burns Books

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