by Hannah Flagg Gould
There's many a one who oft has heard
The name of Robert Kidd,
Who cannot tell, perhaps, a word
Of him, or what he did.
So, though I never saw the man,
And lived not in his day,
I'll tell you how his guilt began --
To what it paved the way.
'T was in New York Kidd had his home,
And there he left his wife
And children, when he went to roam,
And lead a seaman's life.
Now Robert had as firm a hand,
A heart as stern and brave,
As ever met in one on land,
Or on the briny wave.
'T was in the third king William's time,
When many a pirate bold
Committed on the seas the crime
Of shedding blood for gold.
So Captain Kidd was singled out
As one devoid of fears,
To take a ship and cruise about
Against the Buccaniers.
The ship was armed with many a gun,
And manned with many a man,
Across the southern seas to run
To foil the pirate's plan.
But when she long, from isle to isle,
Without success, had sailed,
And made no capture all the while,
Her master's patience failed.
The prizes he so oft had sought,
He found he sought in vain.
And soon a wicked, bloody thought,
Came into Robert's brain!
His mind he opened to his men;
And found his guilty crew
Agreed with him, that they, from then,
Would all turn pirates too!
He threw his Bible in the deep,
Defied its Author's will,
And, with his conscience put to sleep,
Began to rob and kill.
And now the desperado reigned,
A tyrant on the waves,
While they whose blood his hands had stained,
Went down to watery graves.
No merchant ship could near him go,
Which he would not annoy;
For Kidd was passing to and fro,
And seeking to destroy.
He seized the vessel, plunged the knife
Within the seamen's breast;
And, by a cruel waste of life,
His evil gains possessed.
He then would make the nearest isle,
And go at night by stealth,
To hide within the earth awhile
His last ill-gotten wealth.
Thus many a shining wedge of gold
This modern Achan hid;
And many a frightful tale was told
About the pirate Kidd.
But Justice does not slumber long;
If slow, she's ever sure.
There's none too artful, quick, or strong
For her to make secure.
To Boston, with a brazen face,
The pirate boldly went,
Where he was seized; and in disgrace
And chains to England sent.
The captain and his crew were there,
A solemn, fearful sight,
Resigning life high up in air,
E'en at the gibbet's height.
For many a year their bodies hung
Along the river side,
As beacons, showing old and young
How they had lived and died.
The wealth they hid was never found,
Though often sought of men.
'T is where they placed it in the ground,
Till they should come again!
The earth has seemed by heaven constrained
The treasures to withhold.
That price of blood has none obtained,
Or used the pirate's gold!
Source:Poems By Miss H. F. Gould. Volume 2.
Hilliard, Gray, & Co., Boston