Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel

(1834-1894 / England)

A Song Of Nereids - Poem by Roden Berkeley Wriothesley Noel

Ding, dong, bell!
We breathe you a sea-spell!
While we leap into the blue,
Link hands with ours, dear mortal, do.
Away! away! away!
Our clear green waters are at play
With a wave-bewildered ray,
Where the billow-bathed shell-floor
Looks a fantasy unsure
Through the fluctuating billow,
Where will be your pillow!
Fish float there in opal mail;
Ere your senses wholly fail,
We will tell you a wondrous tale,
We alone may truly tell
Of what befell
Before the mournful years began
For mind-beclouded, wildered man;
With our rhythmic rise and fall
We will ring your funeral!
Cease the civil war of life;
For the turmoil and the strife
Of a human heart and mind
Are more than toil of wave or wind!
You who lay in Love's white bosom
Shall find more fair our cool sea-blossom;
Leander homing to his love,
And lipping the fond seas he clove,
We lured to our still coral grove,
Where years might ne'er deflower his youth,
Nor wither slowly with no ruth;
While our kind fair Hylas took
From his lover's longing look.
You who late could climb the rocks,
Where the tidal water shocks,
You who dared to breast the wave
That yields wild rapture to the brave,
Life at full, or glassy grave,
Come and sleep, and be at rest;
We will lull you on our breast!
Never weep, nor strive, nor cry,
Nor wait till age shall strand you high
Afar from our sweet revelry,
And our wild, aërial glee!
But plunge in our gulfs, and cease,
Finding there a sweet release!
Foam, like lace illumined, smiles
Round the feet of granite piles;
O'er sunny sands for miles and miles,
Along the breezy briny bay,
Melodiously we plash and play;
Our wild joy's tumultuous sound
Fills the air and all around;
You are young, and you are old,
You are warm, and you are cold,
Never wearying we sing,
All our foamy bells we ring;
Away! away! away!
Link hands with ours in play,
While we leap into the blue,
Link hands with ours, dear mortal, do!
We are breathing a sea-spell;
Ding, dong, bell!

(Porthcurno.)


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 22, 2010



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