NOTE: For a long time I have aspired to write epic poetry. While waited for my lovely wife to get out of surgery last week, I found myself with ample time to pursue that dream. What follows is my first foray into the genre of epic poetry: a tale about an old salt, a tormented soul bound to walk the earth and bestow his hard-learned wisdom on those whom he meets. This is a completely original work of authorship.
The tale begins at a wedding reception, where our protagonist, a haggard and weary old salt encounters three guests; one is willing to hear his story...
THE OLD SAILOR'S LAMENT
Hear the rime of the ancient mariner
See his eye as he stops one of three
Mesmerises one of the wedding guests
Stay here and listen to the nightmares of the sea.
And the music plays on, as the bride passes by
Caught by his spell and the mariner tells his tale.
Engross'd 'fore he began, the guest did implore,
To the ancient mariner right then,
"The only thing I'll ever ask of you:
"You've got to promise not to stop when I say 'when'"
Driven south to the land of the snow and ice
To a place where nobody's been
Through the snow fog flies on the albatross
Hailed in gods name, hoping good luck it brings.
Oh pointy bird!
Oh pointy pointy!
Anoint my head!
And the ship sails on, back to the north
Through the fog and ice and the albatross follows on.
The mariner kills the bird of good omen
His shipmates cry against what he's done
But when the fog clears, they justify him
And make themselves a part of the crime.
Sailing on and on and north across the sea
Sailing on and on and north 'til all is calm.
The albatross begins with its vengeance
A terrible curse a thirst has begun
His shipmates blame bad luck on the mariner
About his neck, the dead bird is hung.
And the curse goes on and on at sea
And the curse goes on and on for them and me.
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck nor breath nor motion
As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean
Water, water everywhere and
All the boards did shrink
Water, water everywhere nor any drop to drink.
There calls the mariner
There comes a ship over the line
But how can she sail with no wind in her sails and no tide.
See...onward she comes
Onward she nears out of the sun
See, she has no crew
She has no life, wait but here's two.
Death and she life in death,
They throw their dice for the crew
She wins the mariner and he belongs to her now.
Then...crew one by one
They drop down dead, two hundred men
She...she, life in death.
She lets him live, her chosen one.
Mama always said you'd be the Chosen One.
She said: You're one in a million you've got to burn to shine,
But you were born under a bad sign, with a blue moon in your eyes.
One after one by the star dogged moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh
Each turned his facce with a ghastly pang
And cursed me with his eye
Four times fifty living men
(and I heard nor sigh nor groan)
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.
The curse it lives on in their eyes
The mariner wished he'd die
Along with the sea creatures
But they lived on, so did he.
And by the light of the moon
He prays for their beauty, not doom
With heart he blesses them
God's creatures all of them too.
Then the spell starts to break
The albatross falls from his neck
Sinks down like lead into the sea
Then down in falls comes the rain.
Let it rain.
Let it rain!
Let your love rain down on me!
Hear the groans of the long dead seamen
See them stir and they start to rise
Bodies lifted by good spirits
None of them speak and they're lifeless in their eyes
And revenge is still sought, penance starts again
Cast into a trance and the nightmare carries on.
Now the curse is finally lifted
And the mariner sights his home
Spirits go from the long dead bodies
Form their own light and the mariner's left alone.
And then a boat came sailing towards him
It was a joy he could not believe
The pilots boat, his son and the hermit,
Penance of life will fall onto him.
Get thee to a nunnery!
And the ship sinks like lead into the sea
And the hermit shrieves the mariner of his sins.
The mariners bound to tell of his story
To tell this tale wherever he goes
To teach God's word by his own example
That we must love all things that God made.
And the wedding guests a sad and wiser man
And the tale goes on and on and on.