The Trove at Bioda Mor

The Trove at Bioda Mor

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

The last I saw of Sebastian Fudge

He was dancing the hempen jig,

To pay for the years of pirating

At the side of Captain Kidd.

While Kidd was swung at Tilbury,

Was dipped in a coat of tar,

Then hung in chains by the River Thames

As a sign to the faint of heart!

 

I'd sailed with Fudge on the Emerald,

In the days when men were bold,

And there wasn't a Frenchman privateer

That we couldn't divest of gold,

I thought of the Spanish throats we'd cut

And the nights of rum and hock,

As Fudge went tripping his final jig

At Execution Dock.

 

That left just me and Jackie Straw,

Midshipman Bowes, and Penn,

The last of the Jolly Roger crew

Of the ships we'd sailed back then,

So we met at the back of Polly's place,

The One-Eyed Tar that night,

And drank to the soul of Fudge, and drank!

We drank to the broad daylight!

 

And Polly had joined us there at dawn

The tears still on her face,

She'd been with Fudge, his faithful Moll,

As he swung with little grace:

'He scribbled a map for me,' she said,

'I've kept it safely hid,

We could have collected the treasure trove

If he hadn't sailed with Kidd!'

 

'Belay that, let us see the map!'

Said Straw, his eyes ablaze,

And I caught a glimpse of his cutlass raised

In the raiding party days,

But 'Aye', said Penn, 'there's gold enough

And a chest of jewels each,

If we follow the trail of the castaways,

And the gold of Captain Teach!'

 

'You and your Caribbean gold,

I have no mind for that,

Rather a treasure close at hand,

It's marked on Fudge's map!'

Polly drew out a parchment then

A map of Scotland's shore,

The wreck of the Magdalena marked

By the cliffs at Bioda Mor.

 

'It's there, in the Outer Hebrides,

An Island known as Dun,

The Galleon sailed beneath an arch,

An arch of solid stone!

The masts then brought it crashing down

It crippled the Magdalena,

They drifted on to Bioda Mor

With no-one there to save her!'

 

We set our sails for the Hebrides

In a sloop, Jack Straw and Bowes,

And Polly, lodged in the cabin below

With a pile of women's clothes,

While Penn was up in the Crows Nest,

Skin tight with a quart of rum,

To keep the cold from his aging bones

On watch for the Isle of Dun.

 

The morning saw the cliffs rear up

And scrape the greying sky,

I'd never seen cliffs as high as this,

'And nor,' said Straw, 'have I!'

The waves swept in to a pebbled beach

From a swell of twenty feet,

'We'll never land in a longboat there,

That landing's out of reach!'

 

Polly attached herself to Bowes

While Straw looked on in hate,

He's fancied his chance with Fudge's Moll

But she'd gone with Fudge's mate,

She told me once in a whisper there

That she didn't trust Jack Straw,

And Penn was a little too close to him,

She kept a gun in her drawer.

 

I watched them all, I knew too well

What greed could do to a crew,

I'd seen with the best of shipboard mates

What a handful of gold could do,

So I kept myself to myself as we

Sailed round to the other shore,

And landed there on the leeward side,

Across from Bioda Mor.

 

We trudged around by the coast, the cliffs

Were far too high to scale,

It took us the rest of the day, I saw

That Polly was looking pale,

She wanted to quit, and rest awhile,

But Straw kept pushing along,

And Bowes brought up in the rear, I knew

He was carrying Polly's gun!

 

The wind came up, the breakers crashed,

We kept close by the cliff,

The beach was a solid shingle there

With piles of kelp, and drift,

We came to the mouth of a hidden cave

And sought the quiet depths,

The sea swept in as the tide had turned

And it made us catch our breath.

 

Inside the cave was a pile of gold

That covered the rocky floor,

And everywhere was the glint of gems,

Of diamonds, rubies, more...

I saw the glittering eyes of Straw

As he scooped the gold moidores,

'There's gold enough for everyone!'

'Not so!' said Mr. Bowes.

 

He'd pulled the gun, and covered us

As I knew he would, I guess,

And Polly stooped as she gathered up

The coins in her flowing dress,

'There's only two will be leaving here

Alive,' she said, 'and free!'

'Who'll be the first to die,' she said,

And Bowes had looked at me!

 

I took the cup and I threw the dice,

They fell to a handy deuce,

'That puts me behind a rock, and safe,'

I laughed: 'I've cooked your goose!'

Then Sandra's Mum marched in and said:

'Okay, you lot, it's time...'

For she was only eleven then,

And the rest of us were nine!

 

We groaned, but packed the counters up,

Took one last look at the board,

'I would have snatched the gun, I think,'

Said Bill, who'd played Jack Straw.

'I would have shot you first,' said Joe,

We shivered there in the cold,

And folded the board, regretfully,

Of the game called 'Spanish Gold!'

 

David Lewis Paget

 


© 2012 David Lewis Paget



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Featured Review

Oh, David, you scoundrel! I was taken aback when the roll of a deuce on two dice got Penn behind a rock...Momentary flashback to "Dungeons and Dragons" days...then you let the proverbial cat out of the bag...Shades of "Jumanji"! Yet, really, is there anything nearer to actual truth than the imaginings of our youth? And how fortunate for Bill and Joe that they cultivate so young a taste for older "women"!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Oh n100ow that had me till the last

Posted 6 Years Ago


This is magnificent! I love the way this flows and the story is fabulous; the ending a surprise and a delight. Thank you for sharing! :)

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Oh, David, you scoundrel! I was taken aback when the roll of a deuce on two dice got Penn behind a rock...Momentary flashback to "Dungeons and Dragons" days...then you let the proverbial cat out of the bag...Shades of "Jumanji"! Yet, really, is there anything nearer to actual truth than the imaginings of our youth? And how fortunate for Bill and Joe that they cultivate so young a taste for older "women"!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Your ballards spirit up great romance. There are whole stories packed into just a few verses. This one made my life feel insipid, sitting as I am in a glass office not that far from Execution Dock. Our highly organised lifes seem so remote from times when life was more immediate and intense perhaps.

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Read thisd one on the other site..it is fabulous and I still find myself laughing at the ending..love to you both..Kathie

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

never guessed it would end with a child's board game.......you've not lost your touch, my dearest!! I was expecting a sinister twist and in walked mum.....brilliant!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

what fun! what fun! you have resurrected a lost art that was last heart of with casey at the bat, and the face on the barroom floor...hooray for you, and good for us...what fun!

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

O! This was just lovely. You had me walking the plank into the wondrous waves of your pirate tale, only to lead me, instead, into the child's play of pretend. You always amaze and surprise, and it's good to read you after such a long hiatus.

Linda Marie

Posted 7 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 6, 2010
Last Updated on June 28, 2012

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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