Friday 4 April 2014

The Spanish Armada 1588 - Part One - Spain prepares for war

                                                                                                               Queen Elizabeth I's "Sea Dogs"

Martin Frobisher
English privateers
Had, for very many years,
Been stealing from the treasure ships of Spain.                    
The hoards each "sea dog" offers,
Help to swell Queen Bess's coffers,
So our monarch is the last one to complain.

Because of royal backing
For the looting and attacking,
(And because we'd helped the Netherlands as well),
The Spanish king got tough -
He said, "Enough's enough!
England is a nation we must quell."

Sir Francis Drake
Though war was undeclared,
He had to be prepared,
(And making ready didn't take that long.)
His shipwrights worked with speed,
To provide what he would need,
And soon his fleet was sixty carracks strong.

A cunning plan we hatched,
And "El Drago" was despatched,
To do something which might thwart, or cause delay.
No wonder he was feared,
For Drake "singed King Philip's beard",
By sinking lots of ships in Cadiz bay.

John Hawkins
This tactical attack
Had set preparations back:
Destroying all those ships and their supplies
Now Philip is to lose
His commander, Santa Cruz,
When this admiral unfortunately dies.

The Duke who takes his place,
(Must feel sorry for His Grace),
Is a soldier, whose experience is lacking
For a mission of this kind,
But Philip doesn't mind:
He's confident the Spanish have God's backing.

Sir Walter Raleigh
By our antics merely flustered,
His resources he re-mustered,
One year later, the Armada would set sail.
Our country - with breath bated -
Gathered vessels and then waited...
In this contest, would we win or would we fail?

Philip II of Spain
Queen Elizabeth I

Ⓒ Maggie Ballinger 2014

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