Pretty Poetry For Everyday

A skull, old keys, and coins on a table

9 Pirate Poems To Read Before You Walk The Plank

Inside: Fun pirate poems to read before you walk the plank. 

Pirates are some of the most iconic characters in our society! Kids love them, they make great halloween costumes, and we all love a good pirate movie franchise.

Whether you love the villain of the animated Disney movie, Peter Pan, or you’re just in love with the general concepts of pirates, you’re in the right place.

Poetry about pirates goes back eras and eras– the Greek men on ships being trapped by sirens were all technically pirates set sail to go and rob the other ships along the way.

We love anyone a little bit rough around the edges and let’s be honest– we wish we could live the same carefree way that they do, just spending all day on the sea and doing whatever they please. For the most part. Maybe you like showering more than that, I won’t make assumptions about you.

Enjoy these pirate poems!

Pirate ship in the fog

Pirates are interesting characters that you and I know all too well. Villains and main characters, depending on the movie you’re watching or book you’re reading, they’re really versatile enough to do it all!

If you’ve got kiddos that are really getting into pirates these days, have them read some of these poems about pirates or use them creatively like on invitations for a birthday party or put them on a graphic to print and decorate their bedroom. There are so many cute ways to use pirate poems.

Find the best pirate poems for you here! They’re super fun, I know you’ll enjoy them.

Aesthetic Pirate Poems

Some pirates are totally all about aesthetics– they’re grungy, hippie, eclectic, cool… The list goes on and on. Plus, you can’t really ignore how bold and brash they are! If you’re totally into the fantasy world of pirates and everything that they encounter, these aesthetic pirate poems are totally for you. It’s a vibe for sure to add to your reading list of all the pirate-centric stories.

Here are a few pirate poems that have a certain aesthetic feel to them– whether it’s the grunge or the fantasy vibes, who’s to know? But they sure are fun to read!

1. The Swashbuckler

Squat-nosed and broad, of big and pompous port;
A tavern visage, apoplexy haunts,
All pimple-puffed: the Falstaff-like resort
Of fat debauchery, whose veined cheek flaunts
A flabby purple: rusty-spurred he stands
In rakehell boots and belt, and hanger that
Claps when, with greasy gauntlets on his hands,
He swaggers past in cloak and slouch-plumed hat.
Aggression marches armies in his words;
And in his oaths great deeds ride cap-à-pie;
His looks, his gestures breathe the breath of swords;
And in his carriage camp all wars to be:—
With him of battles there shall be no lack
While buxom wenches are and stoops of sack.

By Madison Cawein

A pirate driving a ship

2. A Ballad Of John Silver

We were schooner-rigged and rakish,
with a long and lissome hull,
And we flew the pretty colours of the crossbones and the skull;
We’d a big black Jolly Roger flapping grimly at the fore,
And we sailed the Spanish Water in the happy days of yore.

We’d a long brass gun amidships, like a well-conducted ship,
We had each a brace of pistols and a cutlass at the hip;
It’s a point which tells against us, and a fact to be deplored,
But we chased the goodly merchant-men and laid their ships aboard.

Then the dead men fouled the scuppers and the wounded filled the chains,
And the paint-work all was spatter dashed with other peoples brains,
She was boarded, she was looted, she was scuttled till she sank.

And the pale survivors left us by the medium of the plank.

O! then it was (while standing by the taffrail on the poop)
We could hear the drowning folk lament the absent chicken coop;
Then, having washed the blood away, we’d little else to do
Than to dance a quiet hornpipe as the old salts taught us to.

O! the fiddle on the fo’c’sle, and the slapping naked soles,
And the genial “Down the middle, Jake, and curtsey when she rolls!”
With the silver seas around us and the pale moon overhead,
And the look-out not a-looking and his pipe-bowl glowing red.

Ah! the pig-tailed, quidding pirates and the pretty pranks we played,
All have since been put a stop to by the naughty Board of Trade;
The schooners and the merry crews are laid away to rest,
A little south the sunset in the islands of the Blest.

By John Masefield

Funny Pirate Poems

If you know some kids in your life that are all about the pirate’s life, then odds are they would love a little laugh regarding a pirate poem!

Some of these almost read like a silly short story for kids, and they’re super cute to read aloud to a classroom or around the dinner table to your pirate-fanatic kiddos. These are some show stoppers, so I know they’re going to love these funny pirate poems.

3. Pirate Bay

“`Pirate Bay the Haiku“`

pirates fierce and mean
drowning fish, sea to sea
parrots on their butt

“`Polly Wants A Cracker“`

bloodthirst & brutal
Quartermaster Gone Wild
dirty wings on deck

“`Sea World Adventure“`
ship crew goes on strike
sailing the Caribbean
wooden leg splashing

By Poet Destroyer A

4. The Pirate Who Stole My Boat

On the seas of turquoise green
A pirate ship approached
And stole my boat
All cargo was aboard

I was saddened at the loss that day
For the ship was a fine seaworthy vessel
I hope they take good care
Of both vessel and my wife

I shall miss them both
They been sailed many a year
Thank god I have insurance
For the vessel I held so dear


By Arthur Veso

Gold coins in the sand

Pirate References

Some poetry, especially deeper and more fantastical works, may not be explicitly mentioning pirates and their activities, but there may be slight references that lets the reader know what the poem is about. It takes a creative writing skill to be able to vaguely reference something and to set it as a theme all at the same time.

These poems with pirate references make it so that there’s a subtle hint at what the story is about. These can be some of the coolest poems! So if you’re looking for an aesthetic poem about pirates, these are probably some more good ones for you!

5. Hymn To Demeter By Homer

[Line 118] Thus they said.
And she, that queen among goddesses answered them saying: “Hail, dear children, whosoever you are of woman-kind.
I will tell you my story; for it is not unseemly that I should tell you truly what you ask.
Doso is my name, for my stately mother gave it me.
And now I am come from Crete over the sea’s wide back, — not willingly; but pirates brought me thence by force of strength against my liking.
Afterwards they put in with their swift craft to Thoricus, and these the women landed on the shore in full throng and the men likewise, and they began to make ready a meal by the stern-cables of the ship.
But my heart craved not pleasant food, and I fled secretly across the dark country and escaped my masters, that they should not take me unpurchased across the sea, there to win a price for me.
And so I wandered and am come here: and I know not at all what land this is or what people are in it.
But may all those who dwell on Olympus give you husbands and birth of children as parents desire, so you take pity on me, maidens, and show me this clearly that I may learn, dear children, to the house of what man and woman I may go, to work for them cheerfully at such tasks as belong to a woman of my age.
Well could I nurse a new born child, holding him in my arms, or keep house, or spread my masters’ bed in a recess of the well-built chamber, or teach the women their work.

Snippet By Homer

6. Portrait Of A Boy

After the whipping he crawled into bed,
Accepting the harsh fact with no great weeping.

How funny uncle’s hat had looked striped red!
He chuckled silently.
The moon came, sweeping
A black, frayed rag of tattered cloud before
In scorning; very pure and pale she seemed,
Flooding his bed with radiance.
On the floor
Fat motes danced.
He sobbed, closed his eyes and dreamed.

Warm sand flowed round him.
Blurts of crimson light
Splashed the white grains like blood.
Past the cave’s mouth
Shone with a large, fierce splendor, wildly bright,
The crooked constellations of the South;
Here the Cross swung; and there, affronting Mars,
The Centaur stormed aside a froth of stars.

Within, great casks, like wattled aldermen,
Sighed of enormous feasts, and cloth of gold
Glowed on the walls like hot desire.
Beside webbed purples from some galleon’s hold,
A black chest bore the skull and bones in white
Above a scrawled “Gunpowder!” By the flames,
Decked out in crimson, gemmed with syenite,
Hailing their fellows with outrageous names,
The pirates sat and diced.
Their eyes were moons.

“Doubloons!” they said.
The words crashed gold.

By Stephen Vincent Binet

Pirate Poetry

Pirate poetry ranges from fun and light hearted for the kids to dark and mysterious for the adults that are well versed on pirate lore.

Have fun with it and check out a few more poems!

7. Poems About Famous Pirates

There’s Long John Silver, Captain Hook,
And Captain Jack Sparrow,
But these pirates are just made up,
They are not real you know!

There were a lot of real pirates
Attacking ships at sea,
We’ll learn about them in this poem,
So let’s read on, shall we?

His name was really Edward Teach
But folks called him “Blackbeard”.
He captained “The Queen Anne’s Revenge”
And he was greatly feared.

To make himself look scary
He tied plaits in his hair,
So from a distance it looked like
Some snakes were living there.

Nicholas Brown
Pirate Nicholas Brown was caught
And threatened with the chop,
But he was given one last chance
Because he said he’d stop.

But he went back to his old ways,
Went back to being a pirate.
I guess he had a stubborn streak,
Perhaps we should admire it?

And one day, Brown was caught again
This time it was the end.
Yes, caught and killed by John Drudge, who
Once used to be his friend.

Black Bart
Captain Bartholemew Roberts
(Also known as “Black Bart”)
Was very good at piracy
He’d made it a fine art.

He did not drink a lot of rum,
Preferring to drink tea.
Perhaps the reason he did well
Was his sobriety.

Captain Morgan
Sir Henry Morgan wasn’t the
Greatest pirate ever.
One time he crashed his ship on rocks,
Which wasn’t very clever.

Francis Drake
To English folk, Sir Francis Drake’s
A hero, brave and bold.
But Spaniards call him “pirate” –
A thief who stole their gold.

Anne Bonney and Mary Read
Not all pirates were men you know,
There were some women too –
Like Anne Bonney and Mary Read,
Who were in the same crew.

Sometimes history books tell us that
Women were soft back then,
But Anne Bonney and Mary Read
Were tougher than the men.

Other famous pirates
Many other famous pirates
Sailed the seven seas,
Like the pirate Coxinga who
Was actually Chinese.

There was William Kidd, John Ward,
Edward England, Ned Low,
The two Barbarossa brothers,
And Spaniard Juan Corso.

And there were many many more,
Too many to tell you.
And so, me hearties, now’s the end,
Avast ye, and heave to.

By Paul Perro

8. One-Eyed Jake The Pirate

I’m One-Eyed Jake the Pirate.
I wear a black eye patch.
In all degrees on seven seas
There’s no man who’s my match.

You likely think I lost an eye
In battle fierce and wild.
The reason that I wear this patch
Is very much more mild.

A skull flag flying in the wind on the open sea

9. A Pirate On Aging

‘Tis the good ship, Bless the Wind
sailed proud in the sea of mind.
Up the mast I made my way,
with the birds and the clouds I’d play,
a Kidd with the pirate kind.

For hours to the land, I’m blind,
young wings in a tamarind,
far from home on a branch I’d sway.
On my good ship!

To the way of the world, I sinned,
not for torn pants, nor knees skinned,
but I’d ventured beyond home’s cay,
where I was commanded to stay.
For now, I dream in my room, disciplined.
On my good ship!

By Rick Maxson

Fantasy lovers and classic animated movie enthusiasts alike all have a common type of character in their realm– pirates! There are so many different depictions of pirates across all media that it’s hard to kind of pin point them into one kind of character.

They’re fun to love and fun to hate– they are essentially robbers at their core of course!

But when the script makes them so lovable, it’s hard not to fall for a fun character! So these poems might have you in your feelings over a fanfiction about a certain pirate character or maybe even just because you love the Greek epochs depicting cool pirate types.

When you fall in love with a character type, little poems that continue to spark that interest are a fun way to keep the aesthetic magic alive! So I hope you enjoyed these poems.

The open sea reminds me of the open air in outer space. Check out these poems about space!

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