Rolph David

Störtebeker's Headless Gauntlet

On Grasbrook stands a testament,
In stone the pirate's creed was penned:
"God's Friend, the World's Fierce Enemy,"
A chilling call to infamy.

Where mayors meted fate severe,
In Hafencity, harsh and clear,
With tales of heads on stakes displayed,
Warnings sharp where justice swayed.

Störtebeker, bold and feared,
On North and Baltic seas he steered.
Captured in a fateful fray,
On October twentieth, his end lay.

With seventy-three, his comrades fell,
Before the axe in harsh farewell.
His age unknown, his past unclear,
In legends does his name appear.

The "Bunte Kuh" of Utrecht's might,
Engaged in battle, sealed his plight.
Miles, the mayor, heard his plea,
For a deal to set his brethren free.

A headless march, eleven strong,
Till headsman’s trip cut short the wrong.
Though Störtebeker fell to dust,
Miles broke his word, betrayed the trust.

A skull once found in eighteen-seven-eight,
A nail through bone, did it narrate?
Uncertain if 'twas Störtebeker's head,
Yet by museum, his tale was spread.

His name, "Tip the Mug," a mystic lore,
Could he drink four liters or more?
From Wismar's scrolls, a clue unfolds,
Of brawls and wounds, the past it holds.

From thirteen ninety-four to ninety-nine,
In English logs, his deeds align.
With Gödeke Michels, raids were led,
Across the seas, their legend spread.

Stockholm freed from Danish clasp,
By victual brothers’ grasp.
Störtebeker, a hero cast,
As Robin Hood of seas' vast.

In Verden town, his legacy,
Three weeks 'fore Easter, fish are free.
Herring and bread, a yearly rite,
A pirate's gift to aid their plight.

In fourteen-o-one, October's twentieth day,
Störtebeker sailed North and Baltic's way.
Captured in a fateful fray,
Beheaded, his life's price to pay.

All rights belong to its author. It was published on by demand of Rolph David.
Published on on 06/23/2024.


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