We made fast for the bawdy port of Valencia, a long, lonesome voyage from Yankee Philadelphia. When making for the shore, we be greeted by painted whore; ‘Bienvenido de vuelta a casa a Valencia!

‘To the maidens of Valencia!’ cried the melancholic men.


Our crew are motley picks, from Arab to red mane Celtics; these sea dogs come from all over the known world. Our proud ship in harbour, bobbing with lazy torpor and the Spanish flag proudly unfurled.

‘To the taverns of Valencia!’ went up the cry again.


We’re not that sorry to say, some land cows stood in our way and before long in every direction was melee. The guard were called quick, and we keeled right slick and did not linger to stay.

‘To the land lovers of Valencia!’ the cheer came most of’n.


The guards gave us chase, much to our distaste and so a further ruckus did ensue. Fists swinging left and right, we gave the lubbers a fright; so they called troopers in to pay our due.

‘To the military men of Valencia!’ as we marched to ruin.


To the gaol house we were swept, in a hot cell kept until our Cap’n came and freed us. We roustabouts were free, to make a fresh sortie; on the taverns, wenches and wretched townfolk thus.

‘To the greatest Cap’n a crew would ever wish!’ Came the delighted sea-dogs mewlin’.


A rousing cheer from the men, they were home once again;

Whatever a port and tavern dreams for them.


From The Rogues’ Gallery


© DJA 2016 All rights reserved.
Cover: Portrait of a man by Frans Hals