Welcome to Poetry.com

Poetry.com is a huge collection of poems from famous and amateur poets from around the world — collaboratively published by a community of authors and contributing editors.

Navigate through our poetry database by subjects, alphabetically or simply search by keywords. You can submit a new poem, discuss and rate existing work, listen to poems using voice pronunciation and even translate pieces to many common and not-so-common languages.

The Captive Pirate

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton 1808 (Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Sheridan London) – 1877 (London)

THE captive pirate sate alone,
Musing over triumphs gone,
Gazing on the clear blue sky
From his dungeon window high.
Dreamingly he sate, and thought
Of battles he had seen and fought;
And fancy o'er him threw her spell.
He deemed he had not bid farewell
To the friends who loved him best:
O'er the white wave's snowy crest
Seems he now once more to sail,
Borne by the triumphant gale:
Cheerily the light bark bounds,
In his ears the music sounds
Of hoarsely mingling waves and voices,
And his inmost soul rejoices!

He gives the signal of command,
He waves-he drops-the lifted hand!
It was a sound of clashing steel-
Why starts he thus? what doth he feel?
The clanking of his iron chain
Hath made him prisoner again!
He groans, as memory round him brings
The shades of half-forgotten things.
His friends! his faithful friends!-a sigh
Bursts from that bosom swelling high.
His bark! his gallant bark!-a tear
Darkens the eye that knew not fear.
And another meaner name
Must lead his men to death or fame!
And another form must stand
(Captain of his mourning band)
On the deck he trod so well,
While his bark o'er ocean's swell
Is sailing far, far out at sea,
Where he never more may be!
Oh! to be away once more
From the dark and loathsome shore!
Oh! again the sound to hear
Of his ship's crew's hearty cheer!
Souls who by his side have stood,
Careless of their ebbing blood,

Wiped the death-dew from their brow,
And feebly smiled their truth to show!
Little does the Pirate deem
Freedom now were but a dream;
Little does the chieftain think
That his lost companions drink
Strugglingly by the salt sea wave,
Once their home, and now their grave!
And the bark from which they part,
(While his sad and heavy heart
Yearns to tread her gallant deck,)
Helpless lies, a heaving wreck!

And little will they deem, who roam
Hereafter in their floating home,
While their sunlit sail is spread,
That it gleams above the dead-
That the faithless wave rolls on
Calmly, as they were not gone,
While its depths warm hearts doth cover,
Whose beatings were untimely over!
And little will they deem, who stand
Safe upon the sea-girt land,
That to the stranger all it gave
Was-a prison and a grave!

That the ruin'd fortress towers
Number'd his despairing hours,
And beneath their careless tread,
Sleeps-the broken-hearted dead!

Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)
Font size:
Collection  Edit     

Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:07 min read

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton

Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton was an English feminist, social reformer, and author of the early and mid-nineteenth century. more…

All Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton poems | Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton Books

FAVORITE (0 fans)

Discuss this Caroline Elizabeth Sarah Norton poem with the community:



    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:


    "The Captive Pirate" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 17 May 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/4776/the-captive-pirate>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest poetry community and poems collection on the web!

    Browse Poetry.com


    Are you a poetry master?

    Who wrote the poem "A Fairy Song"?
    • A. Emily Dickinson
    • B. Geoffrey Chaucer
    • C. William Blake
    • D. William Shakespeare

    Our favorite collection of

    Famous Poets