A Copy of Verses, Composed by Captain Henry Every, Lately Gone to Sea to seek his Fortune

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A Copy of Verses, Composed by Captain Henry Every, Lately Gone to Sea to seek his Fortune  (1694) 
This ballad was written by an anonymous author sometime between May and July 1694, though it was purported to be the work of pirate Henry Every himself. It was first published as a broadside by the London printer Theophilus Lewis. The ballad has traditionally been performed to the tune of The Success of Two English Travellers; Newly Arrived in London, another ballad in circulation since 1686. Multiple versions of A Copy of Verses have been reprinted in subsequent years; the ballad in its original published form is presented here.

A
COPY of VERSES,
COMPOSED BY
Captain Henry Every,
LATELY
Gone to SEA to seek his FORTUNE
To the Tune of, The two English Travellers.


Licens'd according to Dider.



COme all you brave Boys, whose Courage is bold,
Will you venture with me, I'll glut you with Gold?
Make haste unto Corona, a Ship you will find,
That's called the Fancy, will pleasure your mind.

Captain Every is in her, and calls her his own;
He will box her about, Boys, before he has done:
French, Spaniard and Portuguese, the Heathen likewise,
He has made a War with them until that he dies.

Her Model's like Wax, and she sails like the Wind,
She is rigged and fitted and curiously trimm'd,
And all things convenient has for his design;
God bless his poor Fancy, she's bound for the Mine.

Farewel, fair Plimouth, and Cat-down be damn'd,
I once was Part-owner of most of that Land;
But as I am disown'd, so I'll abdicate
My Person from England to attend on my Fate.

Then away from this Climate and temperate Zone,
To one that's more torrid, you'll hear I am gone,
With an hundred and fifty brave Sparks of this Age,
Who are fully resolved their Foes to engage.

These Northern Parts are not thrifty for me,
I'll rise the Anterhise, that some Men shall see
I am not afraid to let the World know,
That to the South-Seas and to Persia I'll go.

Our Names shall be blazed and spread in the Sky,
And many brave Places I hope to descry,
Where never a French man e'er yet has been,
Nor any proud Dut[c]h man can say he has seen.


My Commission is large, and I made it my self,
And the Capston shall stretch it full larger by half;
It was dated in Corona, believe it, my Friend,
From the Year Ninety three, unto the World's end.

I Honour St. George, and his Colours I were,
Good Quarters I give, but no Nation I spare,
The World must assist me with what I do want,
I'll give them my Bill, when my Money is scant.

Now this I do say and solemnly swear,
He that strikes to St. George the better shall fare;
But he that refuses, shall sudenly spy
Strange Colours abroad of my Fancy to fly.

Four Chiviligies of Gold in a bloody Field,
Environ'd with green, now this is my Shield;
Yet call out for Quarter, before you do see
A bloody Flag out, which our Decree,

No Quarters to give, no Quarters to take,
We save nothing living, alas 'tis too late;
For we are now sworn by the Bread and the Wine,
More serious we are than any Divine.

Now this is the Course I intend for to steer;
My false-hearted Nation, to you I declare,
I have done thee no wrong, thou must me forgive,
The Sword shall maintain me as long as I live.




London: Printed for Theophilus Lewis.


This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.