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Two fight — and for their lives

The one that caused the row

is beaten — but survives

And boasts: "I've won it now!

As master of the field!"

And did he win? For sure!

Face-down he couldn't yield:

His victory was pure

The other took his hat,

his rapier and his gold

And left him lying flat,

The glorious field to hold

So master he has been:

Our Neighbours are the same:

If thus they like to win,

we wish them lasting fame


by Constantijn Huygens

The Four Days' Battle was a naval battle of the Second Anglo–Dutch War. Fought from 11 June to 14 June off the Flemish and English coast, it remains one of the longest naval engagements in history. Painting shows the HMS Swiftsure, Seven Oaks and Loyal George captured by the Dutch and flying Dutch colours, by Willem van de Velde the Younger

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