It is about a privateer named Conrad, who is rejected by society as a young man because of his actions, and who later fights against mankind, although not against women. The tale is divided into three cantos.
January 2014 is the bicentennial of the publication of this work.
"O'er the glad waters of the dark blue sea,
"Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free,
"Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam,
"Survey our empire and behold our home!
"These are our realms, no limits to their sway—
"Our flag the sceptre all who meet obey.
"Ours the wild life in tumult still to range
"From toil to rest, and joy in every change.
"Oh, who can tell? not thou, luxurious slave!
"Whose soul would sicken o'er the heaving wave;
"Not thou, vain lord of wantonness and ease!
"Whom slumber soothes not—pleasure cannot please—
"Oh, who can tell, save he whose heart hath tried,
"And danc’d in triumph o'er the waters wide,
"The exulting sense—the pulse's maddening play,
"That thrills the wanderer of that trackless way?
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