The valiant was a noble bark
As ever ploughed
A noble crew she also had
As ever there might
When once at night upon the deep
The Valiant did
Her captain saw a pirate ship
By the moonlight
dim and pale.
Then up he called his goodly crew
And unto them thus
A musket and a cutlass sharp
Each must directly
For yonder see a pirate ship,
Behold her flag
See now the gloomy vessel
for this our bark.
Scarce had the Captain spoke those words
Than a shot oer
his head did fly
From the deck of the pirate ship which now
To the Valiant
was hard by.
Approaching near, twelve desperate men
On the Valiants
deck did leap,
But some there were less brave and strong
Who to their ship
And then a moment afterwards
Did a bloody fray
And as the time sped onward
Fiercer the fray
Come on! the Valiants captain cried,
my comrades brave,
And if we die we shall not sink
When the morning came, and the men arose,
The pirates, where
The ship had sunk and all its crew;
the sea they lay.
¶ 1884. First published in Past and Present,
the magazine of the Brighton Grammar School, Vol. X, No.2, June
1885, and thus the artists first published literary work.
These lines were written the previous year, when he was twelve,
and were apparently inspired by a popular childrens book of
the day, The Lives of All the Notorious Pirates, for a while a great
favourite with Beardsley and his schoolmates. Beardsley recited
the poem on several occasions to considerable acclaim from both
masters and boys in the school.