Poets of John Company/Address to My Malay Krees

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Address to my Malay Krees.

Written while pursued by a French privateer off Sumatra.

Where is the arm I well could trust
To urge the dagger in the fray?
Alas! how powerless now its thrust,
Beneath Malaya's burning day.

The sun has wither'd in their prime
The nerves that once were strong as steel
Alas! in danger's venturous time
That I should live their loss to feel.

Yet still my trusty Krees prove true,
If e'er thou serv'dst at need the brave,
And thou shalt wear a crimson hue,
Or I shall win a watery grave.

Now let thine edge like lightning glow,
And, second but thy master's will,
Malay ne'er struck a deadlier blow.
Though practis'd in the art to kill.

O! by thy point! for every wound
Where trace of Frankish blood hath been.
A golden circle shall surround
Thy hilt of agate smooth and green.

My trusty Krees now play thy part,
And second well thy master's will!
And I will wear thee next my heart.
And many a life-blood owe thee still.