Newspaper Poetry. 108 Years. Updated Daily.

  • The Lawless Heart

    From The Birmingham Age Herald, November 25, 1914. By Berton Braley.

    Dull trade hath bound me in its grip,
        And never shall I be free,
    Yet I dream of the decks of a pirate ship
        In the roll of the open sea;
    I dream of the pennant dread and black
        That flies at the mast alway,
    As we swoop along on a merchant’s track
        In the sting of the flying spray!

    Oh, I am a law-abiding chap,
        Yet deep in my heart I’d be
    A buccaneer with a scarlet cap
        And a Terror of the Sea;
    As lawless and ruthless a bandit brute
        As history ever knew,
    Roaming the seas in search of loot
        At the head of an evil crew!

    Oh, here at home I am meek and mild,
        A man with a family,
    Yet I dream of deeds that are dark and wild
        And of red, red fights at sea;
    And under my breath I softly hum
        A stave from a pirate song,
    And my throat grows parched for pirate rum,
        For I have been dry so long!

    My life is ordered and shaped and bound
        And kept to its rule and line,
    But my thoughts can wander the whole world round
        And my dreams—my dreams are mine!
        And I hungrily long to be
    A pirate chief on a low, black ship
        In the roll of the open sea!