The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee

by MILDRED PLEW MEIGS (1892-1944)

Ho, for the Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee!
He was as wicked as wicked could be,
But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see!
The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.

His conscience, of course, was as black as a bat,
But he had a floppety plume on his hat
And when he went walking it jiggled— like that!
The plume of the Pirate Dowdee.

His coat it was handsome and cut with a slash,
And often as ever he twirled his mustache
Deep down in the ocean the mermaids went splash,
Because of Don Durk of Dowdee.

Moreover, Dowdee had a purple tattoo,
And stuck in his belt where he buckled it through
Were a dagger, a dirk, and a squizzamaroo,
For fierce was the Pirate Dowdee.

So feaful he was he would shoot at a puff,
And always at sea when the weather grew rough
He drank from a bottle and wrote on his cuff,
Did Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.

Oh, he had a cutlass that swung at his thigh
And he had a parrot called Pepperkin Pye,
And a zigzaggy scar at the end of his eye
Had Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.

He kept in a cavern, this buccaneer bold,
A curious chest that was covered with mould,
And all of his pockets were jingly with gold!
Oh jing! went the gold of Dowdee.

His conscience, of course it was crook’d like a squash,
But both of his boots made a slickery slosh,
And he went throught the world with a wonderful swash,
Did Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.

It’s true he was wicked as wicked could be,
His sins they outnumbered a hundred and three,
But oh, he was perfectly gorgeous to see,
The Pirate Don Durk of Dowdee.

Mildred Plew Meigs was born in Chicago in 1892, the daughter of businessman, James E. Plew and his wife Nettie. She also had a sister named Marion. Mildred’s father was a successful businessman with many interests. He moved his family to Valparaiso, Florida in 1922, where he became a land developer, helping to establish many businesses in the area, including the Valparaiso Bank, the Shalimar Winery, and Valparaiso Inn, among many other endeavors.

Mildred married Carl Merryman and initially published under the name Mildred Plew Merryman. She later married Clifford Meigs. Her sister Marion married C.W. Ruckel. Their husbands joined their father-in-law in expanding the Niceville, Valparaiso and Shalimar areas, and many school and other places are named for James E. Plew, Clifford Meigs and C. W. Ruckel.

Mildred’s literature was chiefly published in children’s magazines. “The Pirate Dun Durk of Dowdee” first appeared in Child Life Magazine in 1923. Mildred passed away at her Valparaiso home on February 27, 1944 at the age of 53, survived by her husband, Clifford, her mother and her sister.

Mildred Plew Meigs Contemporaries
Edgar Guest
T.S. Eliot
Emile Nelligan
Alfred Noyes

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