Maiden Of Mercy – a sailor’s tale

Here, where highlighted, the troubles we met,

Long ago, on a ship, far at sea,

Sights that we saw, I’ll never forget,

Comrades, our captain and me.

Winds that grew howling as high as our ship,

Plumbing the depths of our fears,

Submerging the bravest, resisting prayer lips,

Drowning the best of our tears.

Drenched, we stood stalwart, shackled to posts,

To masts, to each other, comrades,

Afeared of the moment all lives would be lost,

No aid despite mayday relayed.

How to fight gods too intent on destruct,

Neptune unleashed, three tined strong,

Maritime fellows, down on their luck,

Awondering how they had done wrong.

Dimmed came the voice on the surge of first wave,

Agrowing as storm mustered force,

All hope relinquished, none left to save,

Shared thought as we fought to keep course.

No hope was left in purser’s aplomb,

All stores to sea bottom had fled,

Blessed we ourselves, each other and home,

Destined for our final bed,

When out from the waves, against father’s rage,

Came the daughter of merman with cause,

Voice of an angel, persuaded, assuaged,

Pled, melody saw storm pause.

A hush on the wind, the ebb and the flow,

Two voices, for mercy, justice,

Abated, we waited, storm clouds still in tow

Then sound of salvation, a kiss.

Whatever she said we might never know,

Best guess is she loved one, she loved all,

No stoppage to find out, we started to row,

Relieved enraged storm was mere squall.

Here, where highlighted, the troubles we met,

Long ago, on a ship, far at sea,

Captain and comrades might still be lost yet

If not for mermaid who loved me.

Still her voice carries, I carry it close

In water and waves, on sea breeze,

Together we both, but for storm that arose,

God judged but heard daughter’s pleas.

Maiden of mercy saw one, she saw all,

Lifted refrain to save love,

Thankful our passage to angelic peace call,

Thanked we, blessed north star above.



14 thoughts on “Maiden Of Mercy – a sailor’s tale”

  1. The rhythm of this is fantastic, really conjouring up the rolling of the sea, and there is an almost ‘ancient’ feel to the language which makes it read like a legend.
    Agreed, a storm would be terrifying, but have you ever watched the film ‘Valhalla’, where their boat is becalmed on a mist-shrouded ocean?
    A great poem, Anne-Marie.

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    1. Thanks, Chris. I’ve never heard of that movie that I can recollect but I’ll look out for it. Although I’m still freaked from watching ‘Dead Calm’ years ago. I was thinking of a character in my book, ex-sailor, and this kind of emerged. Cap and pipe in mind. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Chris, and I’ll steel myself to watch ‘Valhalla’. 🙂

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    1. I don’t know how I wasn’t thinking of ‘The Little Mermaid’ – I had to be Ursula to my eldest daughter’s Ariel so many times I could recite the movie backwards!
      No, I was thinking of an old mariner and storms and things seen at sea. Imagination took the rest. I’m glad you liked it, Phil. And I’m glad none of my other kids felt compelled to make me act like an auld witch. Although Barney got on my nerves for a fair few years too. 😦

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