The only pirate to have had his portrait painted,
A brass plaque and an Australian postage stamp.
First to sail around the world 3 times,
Compare the creatures of 5 continents.
He mapped the waters of the world,
And then he mapped the winds.
Discovered that the winds were the cause of currents,
And that turtles left too long alone grow strange.
Collected specimens in stoppered glass.
Scurvy, poisonous snakes, and stomach ailments.
Trimmed his quill with a knife.
Wrote A Discourse on Breezes.
“Good old Dampier,” wrote Darwin
In a red notebook 100 years later,
And the good townspeople of his birthplace
Cried, “He was a ruffian deserving to be hanged!”
The water-stained, yellowed pages
Of his unpublished apologia are preserved
In the Public Record Office in London,
Along with some of the sand used to blot the ink.
At age 63, he slipped from view in a canvas sack
At an unmapped tropic and meridian.
“How could anything go amiss,” said Dampier,
“If the project will sail me where I have not yet seen.”