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"Notorious
Woman..."

Pirate, chieftain, trader, gambler, noblewoman, traitor, mercenary....

Everybody had a different title for her, but it was acknowledged by all that she was a formidable woman.

She followed the wind, sailed with the best and traded with some of the worst. Bold, fierce, and a true fighter at a time when women were expected to be something much less.

***


A strange group, in saffron tunics drest:
A female at their head, whose step and brow
Herald her rank, and calm and self possest,
Onward she came, alone through England's best,
With careless look, and bearing free yet high,
Tho' gentle dames their titterings scarce represt,
Noting her garments as she passed them by;
None laughed again who met that stern and flashing eye.

Restless and dark, its sharp and rapid look
Showed a fierce spirit, prone a wrong to feel,
And quicker to revenge it. As a book,
That sun-burnt brow did fearless thoughts reveal;
And in her girdle was a skeyne of steel.

'Twas not her garb that caught the gazer's eye
But the wild grandeur of her mien: erect and high.
Before the English Queen she dauntless stood,
And none her bearing there could scorn as rude;
She seemed as one well used to power -- one that hath
Dominion over men of savage mood,
And dared the tempest in its midnight wrath,
Through opposing billows cleft her fearless path.

Thus, to the English Sovereign, spoke proud "Grania Mhoal".

"Alike to me, the mountain and the glen --
The castle's rampart or the galley's deck;
But thou my country spare -- your foot is on her neck."
Thus brief and bold, outspake that lady stern,
And all stood silent through that crowded hall.