Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ryme V


Part 5 of Sam's Rime...

Ryme of the Ancyent Watyrman


Swells are mighty and gentle things
Origin'd from pole to pole!
To the sea-queen all praise should be gave
For she sent sweet swells down from heaven
Celestial waves nourish'd my soul.

Clueless kooks stay'd dry on the shore
There they had forev'r remain'd,
I dreamt them glistn'n ayn cover'd with dew
Then awoke to find it had rain'd.

My ocean was wild, a wind blew unmild,
My hopes for fine surf were all sank;
Yet in my dreams I surfed on and then
In my mind's eye good Neptune I thank'd.

Water so cold I could ne feel my limbs,
I grow'd dreary grow'd weak, just almost
Then consign'd and resign'd to the ocean to sleep,
Soon to live an unlife a surf Ghost.

Then the wind roar'd! it roar'd from far off,
It did not come near; but I hear'd it
Before the wynd's power mass'd waves soon did tower
As I scratch'd out o'er peak into pit.

From wave tops ne low, spindrifts did blow,
Soon the air was engulf'd in a sheen
Dodg'n sets all about; to and fro, in and out
I danc'd and I charg'd in between.

The wind it soon roar'd ever more loud;
Blow'n froth piled up all like sedge:
Rain it pour'd down from black surly clouds
Ayn the Horned Moon it sat at it's edge.

Then the cloud tore asund'r,
Rent by echo'n thunder:
Ayn light like a waterfall flew,
Bright lightning split ayn jag'd light lit
A steep wave face lin'd up and true.

Howl'n winds keen'd ayn moan'd:
I grip'd my board and stay'd prone!
'Neath the light'n rain and the moon
Aye I'm quite proud ayn loath to admit
I could be hear'd to give a small groan.

I groan'd, but I stir'd, for the waves all uprose,
I ne spake, ne dar'd blink shut my eyes:
It seem'd very strange, p'raps even a dream
To see a wave like that one rise.

My strong arms they strok'd, the gun she mov'd on;
Yet again the stout breeze it up-blew;
watyrman wise, I checked my leg rope
(When it's this big I am wont to do)
I work'd my fore limbs like motoriz'd tools--
And wonder'd where in hell was my crew?

Then dyd I spy my good brother's son
He paddled just off my right knee:
This boy and I we strok'd eye to eye,
But he never said nought'n to me--
O how I hat'd to know his true fate
How frightful and certain t'would be!

Day-light at once dawn'd--I rest'd my arms,
Ayn I look'd all around for the boy:
Salty tears mix'd with the cruel bitt'r ocean
For no sign of him, ne surf ahoy.

Then from behind there came a sweet sound,
The faint call of my good brother's son:
Ayn soon the same sounds they came once again
From my crew, paddling out one by one.

Waves seem'd to drop near straight from the sky
I soon hear'd those surf'n skegs sing;
My good friends were all there
Their stok'd crys fill'd sea and air
With their sweet surf'r jargoning,

We played sweet music on waves,
Like sweet notes from a flute;
Then sang we an angel's song
Sweet music we play'd, the kind
That will make the talkiest tongue go mute.

The session it ceas'd: and all then went in
Save me for twas only noon,
Then a noise like an angry brook
Did rise in the month of June,
My sleeping brothers ashore alright
Their slumb'r a quiet'r tune.

Listen, O listen, thou ocean-guest!
"Watyrman! thou hast thy will:
"That which does come from stormy eye, doth make
"Both body and soul be still."

Never a sadder tale was told
To man or woman surf born:
Sadder and wiser thou ocean-guest!
They should have surf'd pass't the morn.

Never a sadder tale was heard
By a man or a woman surf born:
My fellow watyrmen had return'd to shore
And fell silent as the great wave it form'd.

The Watyrmen all 'gan put on their leg ropes,
But look'n at me they know'd:
That there was no way that they'd ever get--
To where I now sat behold.

Silently far swells they sail'd on
And no more ne breeze did breathe:
Slowly and smoothly I paddl'd forth
Duck div'n the first wave beneath.

Under my keel near nine fathom deep
From the land of the mist and snow
I felt the wave spirit: Aye it was He
That made my sleek water gun go.
My boys on shore left off with their tune
And the sea was soon still also.

My head was center'd upon the stringer
My eye was fix'd on the ocean:
Then in a minute she began stir
With a short uneasy unquiet motion--
Upwards and downwards near half her length
Undulating in uneasy violent commotion.

Then, like a rear'n horse it let go,
The wave lurch'd in a sudden bound:
I felt my blood rush't to my head,
And I swung my pintail around.

How hard I paddled I cannot say,
ayn for some time I dare to declare;
When I stood up my life it return'd,
Down I flew and my soul then discern'd
Fierce water spirits float'n on air,

"Is it he? quoth the one, "Is this the man?
"Is it him who dares ride my swell?
"With his cruel gun he's lay'd my waves low
"But now sure shall I send him to hell.

The spirit rose higher than ever before
A wave like had never been seen,
But I lov'd the wave as I lov'd the sea
And I made it across down'n'out clean

The spirits now offer'd a far softer voice
As soft as the sweet honey-dew:
Quoth they "The man he hath penance done,
"And ne penance ne more ne will do.