A Sea Story - Poem by Robert Eckstein
The Captain told the Bos'n, 'This is where we drop the hook.
'I've heard there's mermaids hereabouts
'And I intend to look.
'To see a real, live mermaid
'Is on my bucket list.
'I was told that they are lovely,
'A sight not to be missed.
'The bottom's fine and sandy,
'Set the anchor for'ard, set a drogue abaft;
'And if we do not see her,
'You all may call me daft.'
The sun went down, the moon arose
And in its silver light
They heard the mermaid singing
And their hearts filled with delight.
She sang about her sisters waiting
At the bottom of the sea,
And of the golden treasures,
And she said she had the key.
An older, wiser shellback
Who had often crossed the Line
Said, 'Belay that, my dear Cap'n
'I know it sounds just fine,
'But you and I have not got gills
'Although we both can swim,
'And we are far too far from shore to do this on a whim.
'She's lass above, but fish below.
'Her uncle is s shark.
'The silver light is shining now,
'But wait til it gets dark! '
A black cloud blotted Luna's face,
They heard the fearsome roar
That waves make as they are crashing
On an unseen, rocky shore.
They smelled the things that wash up
After too long in the deep.
They felt the shock of waking
From a fevered, drunken sleep.
The Captain cried, 'Weigh anchor!
'Starboard tack, were going home!
'I cannot doom my faithful crew
'To perish in the foam.'
'Don't sail away.' the mermaids cried. 'Please stay a while, please do.
'We get so bored singing each to each.
'We thing your Captain's a real peach,
'And we'd like to sing to you.'
The sea was calm, the breeze was mild.
The sailors' hearts were all beguiled.
The Captain then agreed to stay,
But only til the break of day.
They wept and laughed through the long night,
But too soon came the morning light.
The mermaid said, 'It's not amiss
'To give each man a fishy kiss,
'Even the grouch who thought to save
'His comrades from a cold, wet grave.'
The Captain then called, 'Heave away,
'Up anchor now, or ever stay!
'I'll simply enter in my log
'That all of us had too much grog! '
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