Mr Brook, I Presume?

Swords in the dawn, and the Admiral’s son
Is once again out in the cold,
He lives by his wits and his blade and his gun
As further adventures unfold.
He’s leaving this morning, cross country, post-chaise,
Or perhaps he will saddle his mare,
A day’s ride to Calaise, then smuggled in haste
To England, his secret’s to share
With his master and mentor, the young Billy Pitt;
Chevalier de Breuc? Shhh, not a word of it!

Most secretive agent, elusive and smart,
Forever a wench in his bed,
So dashing and gallant, he’ll capture her heart
Be she single, betrothed or e’en wed.
Both Frenchman and Englishman, hero and knave,
He serves first and foremost his King,
And constantly walks with one foot in the grave
When secrets of state foraging.
Downing Street, Number Ten: as he enters the room
An official enquires: Mr Brook, I presume?

Midnight assignations with women in black
In Stockholm, or dining in town
With old Droopy Ned, or facing the flak
Of accusers who’ve seen through his gown.
Outnumbered by ruffians, he fights for dear life,
Or sneaks like a thief in the night
To the bed of a woman, another man’s wife,
Whom he’ll ravish till comes the first light.
Conspirator, gentleman, duelist, Don Juan:
Swords in the dawn: in a twinkling, he’s gone.

At the side of Napoleon, courts of the kings,
Imprisoned for murder or spying,
Forever he dapples in dangerous things,
Adept at both cheating and lying;
He walks on a tightrope and sleeps with one eye
Ever open, a gun at his side,
The odds stacked against him, but he will defy
The shadow of death and will glide
Like a spectre to London, his enemies thwart -
Mr Brook, I presume: your latest report?

A taxing existence, his nerves though are steel,
In peril of death, watch him scud
Like a swan on the water, with vigour and zeal,
Adventuring runs in his blood.
Take you for a sailor, his father did say;
A sailor indeed, not a chance!
Nor a soldier, and so did a young runaway
First spy for his country in France.
Conspirator, gentleman, duelist, Don Juan-
Swords in the dawn: in a twinkling, he’s gone.

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