Battle of Gravelines

Battle of Gravelines

We dropped anchor off the coast of Gravelines
At the coastal border area between France and the Spanish Netherlands.
All was quiet there this October eve .
After a pleasant sail from England
We thought to spent a restful night before sailing on into port.
Ma and I had just retired and were pleasantly nestled in our bunks
Awoke to the sound of thunder bombarding our eardrums
The shouts and cries of a fierce battle coming from above
Had us scurrying to don our clothes and hurry topside
We were in the mist of a raging 16th century battle
Spanish galleons flying Elizabeth-1- of England’s flag were under attack
Bravely the Grandey Felicisima Armada, commanded by the Duke of Medina Sidoma
Repelled the English fire ships attacks
24 vessels sank before our eyes and 50 dragged wounded on the seas
We felt the cannon sail right through our small vessel
Sailors fell aboard , who either jumped or were cast off a galleon moored at our side
Their hallow skeleton eyes stared sightless in our eyes
They were talking, mouths moving, but no sound was heard
Swords, knives and cutlasses raised to strike us dead
Tattered men dressed in blue stops, white chemise and blue doublets
Feet clad in rope sandals kelp covered carried them as they surrounded ma and I
She clasped me tight, “I don’t want to die this night pa”
We both were paralyzed frozen to the deck
While they kept coming, coming closer with their weapons raised
And then just as quickly as they appeared they were gone as a cloud darkened the moon
Before the moon appeared we raised anchor and sailed
Looking back to see the battle still raging when the moons veil lifted
We did not stop until we sailed into Gravelines Port
Frantic to report our encounter with the battle
We made the port authority our first stop
The commander listened patiently to our tale
Then he and his comrades knowing shook their heads
“You and your wife are very lucky sir
Every Hallows Eve when the battle of Gravelines falls on the same date
The ghostly armadas raise and the battle ensues
Few witnesses ever lived to tell of seeing the war
So we, ma and I left France the next day
We made a vow to never sail the English Channel during late October
And thanked the Lord for our escape

(clarice) 10/05/2010

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One Response to “Battle of Gravelines”

  1. belfastdavid Says:

    Ah, you are a consummate story teller as well as a poet.

    I love stories, I love poems which tell stories.

    A pleasure to be given access to your poetry.

    I shall put a link up on my Home page


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