Poems From the Coast | Admiral William Brown by Daniel Wade

Poems from the Coast | A Maritime Poetry Series

This latest poem by Daniel Wade continues our celebration of the maritime legend Admiral William Brown whose military prowess left an indelible mark on the country of Argentina and made him a hero to the Argentine people.


Admiral William Brown

“…y tres vivas a la patria!” – bold statement.

Plying his voice trumpet, the crippled Almirante,

securing the bridge deck, snarls a baritone

order to the crew, hunched like rune-stones

to the timbers, impounded by smoke

and grapeshot, to hold a-larboard against

fanged sails, the soaring drapery,

Brazilian canvas, and thick harras of foam

stampeding to port: diving waves,

unmoved of life as of death.

The flotilla is gathered like an audience,

red flags waving coyly to the front line.

And everlasting, like the sleep of stones,

are the hosannas chanted in his name.

His marred limb, splayed gorily like a trestle,

is washed down by the very waters

his legacy once tested.

For his will, the admiralty’s fire burns

all the more livid. Sickened by colonies,

he has felt most truly the bulk

of chains and freedom’s cool reprieve

cut him clean of press-gangs,

of indenture’s enfeebling venom.

The sea is the only master he will pledge to.

No painter’s canvas shall flaunt his likeness,

nor a composer’s march trumpet

his disembarkation, for the colours of liberty

are as unfixed as the very winds flustering them.

How well does he know the pampean fringes,

the adored river plate uncoiling to oblivion,

swelling the sea’s immensity?

He tries standing upright like a statue

undraped for some lesser anniversary

to hit the blockade’s roof over grouping

of complement and small arm —

for the cresendi of smoke and soaring jetsam.


About Daniel Wade

Daniel Wade is a poet and playwright from Dublin, Ireland. He is a graduate of Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology where he studied English and Journalism.

Check out his website danielwadeauthor.com for more.

About the Author

Ann Robinson

Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me ann@coastmonkey.ie or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22