One day I saw a ship upon the sands
Careened upon beam ends, her tilted deck
Swept clear of rubbish of her long-past wreck;
Her colors struck, but not by human hands;
Her masts the driftwood of what distant strands!
Her frowning ports, where at the Admiral’s beck
Grim-visaged cannon held the foe in check,
Gaped for the frolic of the minnow bands.
The seaweed banners in her fo’ks’le waved,
A turtle basked upon her capstan head;
Her cabin’s pomp the clownish sculpin braved,
And on her prow, where the lost figure-head
Once scorned the brine, a name forgot was graved.
It was “The Irresistible” I read!