Les Filles de la Rochelle (The Daughters of La Rochelle)

They are the daughters of La Rochelle,
A fleet of ships
(Repeat second line in each verse)
For to engage the foe,
IN the sea of the Levant.

Ah, the leaf flies away, flies away!
Ah the leaf flies away in the wind!

The main yard is of ivory,
The blocks are made of diamonds,
The mains'l is of lace,
The fores'l of white satin.

The ropes of this ship
Are of gold and silver thread,
And the hull is of redwood,
Worked handsomely.

The crew of this ship
Are all fifteen-year-old girls,
The master in charge
Is king of these good children.

Yesterday while walking
Upon the fo'c'slehead,
He spotted a brunette
Crying in the shrouds.

"What is the matter sweet brunette?
Why are you crying so?
Have you lost father, mother,
Or one of your parents?"

"I picked the white rose,
Which flew away in the wind.
It was carried before the wind,
Veering and tacking."

English translation
From Songs of the Sea by Stan Hugill (1977)