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Thread: Ballads of the Sea

  1. #1
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Ballads of the Sea

    I thought I would open a thread dedicated to ballads of the sea from collected different poets, becasue I do so enjoy them.

    A Nautical Ballad

    A CAPITAL ship for an ocean trip
    Was The Walloping Window-blind --
    No gale that blew dismayed her crew
    Or troubled the captain's mind.
    The man at the wheel was taught to feel
    Contempt for the wildest blow,
    And it often appeared, when the weather had cleared,
    That he'd been in his bunk below.

    The boatswain's mate was very sedate,
    Yet fond of amusement, too;
    And he played hop-scotch with the starboard watch,
    While the captain tickled the crew.
    And the gunner we had was apparently mad,
    For he sat on the after-rail,
    And fired salutes with the captain's boots,
    In the teeth of the booming gale.

    The captain sat in a commodore's hat
    And dined, in a royal way,
    On toasted pigs and pickles and figs
    And gummery bread, each day.
    But the cook was Dutch, and behaved as such;
    For the food that he gave the crew
    Was a number of tons of hot-cross buns,
    Chopped up with sugar and glue.

    And we all felt ill as mariners will,
    On a diet that's cheap and rude;
    And we shivered and shook as we dipped the cook
    In a tub of his gluesome food.
    Then nautical pride we laid aside,
    And we cast the vessel ashore
    On the Gulliby Isles, where the Poohpooh smiles,
    And the Anagazanders roar.

    Composed of sand was that favored land,
    And trimmed with cinnamon straws;
    And pink and blue was the pleasing hue
    Of the Tickletoeteaser's claws.
    And we sat on the edge of a sandy ledge
    And shot at the whistling bee;
    And the Binnacle-bats wore water-proof hats
    As they danced in the sounding sea.

    On rubagub bark, from dawn to dark,
    We fed, till we all had grown
    Uncommonly shrunk, -- when a Chinese junk
    Came by from the torriby zone.
    She was stubby and square, but we didn't much care,
    And we cheerily put to sea;
    And we left the crew of the junk to chew
    The bark of the rubagub tree.

    Charles Edward Carryl

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #2
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    There are some nice ones out of the province of Nova Scotia. Many of them stem from the oral tradition; here's one I particularly enjoy, which has become somewhat of a Maritime drinking song in Canada.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhkTf...eature=related

    Though this is not sung by the composer, Stan Rogers, you can tell how popular it is by the sound of the crowds.

    Here's an abridged version sung by the composer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-PQbdmQRwc

    and the lyrics available here: http://artists.letssingit.com/stan-r...ateers-rx8tzpw

  3. #3
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing, there are some Celtic Sea Ballads that I really like.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  4. #4
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    The Sea

    THE sea! the sea! the open sea!
    The blue, the fresh, the ever free!
    Without a mark, without a bound,
    It runneth the earth's wide regions round!
    It plays with the clouds; it mocks the skies;
    Or like a cradled creature lies.

    I'm on the sea! I'm on the sea!
    I am where I would ever be;
    With the blue above, and the blue below,
    And silence wheresoe'er I go;
    If a storm should come and awake the deep,
    What mater? I shall ride and sleep.

    I love, oh, how I love to ride
    On the fierce, foaming, bursting tide,
    When every mad wave drowns the moon,
    Or whistles aloft his tempest tune,
    And tells how goeth the world below,
    And why the sou'west blasts do blow.

    I never was on the dull, tame shore,
    But I loved the great sea more and more,
    And backward flew to her billowy breast,
    Like a bird that seeketh its mother's nest;
    And a mother she was, and is, to me;
    For I was born on the open sea!

    The waves were white, and red the morn,
    In the noisy hour when I was born;
    And the whale it whistled, the porpoise rolled,
    And the dolphins bared their backs of gold;
    And never was heard such an outcy wild
    As welcomed to life the ocean's child!

    I've lived since then, in calm and strife,
    Full fifty summers, a sailor's life,
    With wealth to spend and a power to range,
    But never have sought nor sighed for change;
    And Death, whenever he comes to me,
    Shall come on the wild, unbounded sea!

    Barry Cornwall (Bryan Waller Procter)

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  5. #5
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    http://www.amazon.ca/Songs-Ballads-S...8743915&sr=8-2

    Perhaps you may be interested in that volume, if you interest runs deeper than a mere curiosity. The works are an interesting anthropological experience, though in terms of a poetic one, are rather similar.
    Last edited by JBI; 08-14-2008 at 04:04 PM.

  6. #6
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    That sounds really interesting. I was at a Pirate festival once and they were selling these little books of authentic verses from the sea and I picked one up. I will have to find what happend to it.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    A Wet Sheet and a Flowing Sea

    A WET sheet and a flowing sea,
    A wind that follows fast,
    And fills the white and rustling sail,
    And bends the gallant mast--
    And bends the gallant mast, my boys,
    While, like the eagle free,
    Away the good ship flies, and leaves
    Old England on the lee.

    "O for a soft and gentle mind!"
    I heard a fair one cry;
    But give to me the snoring breeze
    And white waves heaving high--
    And white waves heaving high, my boys,
    The good ship tight and free;
    The world of waters is our home,
    And merry men are we.

    There's tempest in yon hornèd moon,
    And lightning in yon cloud;
    And hark the music, mariners!
    The wind is piping loud--
    The wind is piping loud, my boys,
    The lightning flashing free;
    While the hollow oak our palace is,
    Our heritage the sea.

    Allan Cunningham

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    Herman Melville

    THE BERG (A Dream)

    I SAW a ship of material build
    (Her standards set, her brave apparel on)
    Directed as by madness mere
    Against a solid iceberg steer,
    Nor budge it, though the infactuate ship went down.
    The impact made huge ice-cubes fall
    Sullen in tons that crashed the deck;
    But that one avalanche was all--
    No other movement save the foundering wreck.

    Along the spurs of ridges pale,
    Not any slenderest shaft and frail,
    A prism over glass-green gorges lone,
    Toppled; or lace or traceries fine,
    Nor pendant drops in grot or mine
    Were jarred, when the stunned ship went down.
    Nor sole the gulls in cloud that wheeled
    Circling one snow-flanked peak afar,
    But nearer fowl the floes that skimmed
    And crystal beaches, felt no jar.
    No thrill transmitted stirred the lock
    Of jack-straw neddle-ice at base;
    Towers indermined by waves--the block
    Atilt impending-- kept their place.
    Seals, dozing sleek on sliddery ledges
    Slipt never, when by loftier edges
    Through the inertia ovrthrown,
    The impetuous ship in bafflement went down.

    Hard Berg (methought), so cold, so vast,
    With mortal damps self-overcast;
    Exhaling still thy dankish breath--
    Adrift dissolving, bound for death;
    Though lumpish thou, a lumbering one--
    A lumbering lubbard loitering slow,
    Impingers rue thee ad go slow
    Sounding thy precipice below,
    Nor stir the slimy slug that sprawls
    Along thy dead indifference of walls.

    Herman Melville

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    Ballad of the Tempest

    WE were crowded in the cabin,
    Not a soul would dare to sleep,--
    It was midnight on the waters,
    And a storm was on the deep.

    'Tis a fearful thing in winter
    To be shattered by the blast,
    And to hear the rattling trumpet
    Thunder, "Cut away the mast!"

    So we shuddered there in silence,--
    For the stoutest held his breath,
    While the hungry sea was roaring
    And the breakers talked with death.

    As thus we sat in darkness
    Each one busy with his prayers,
    "We are lost!" the captain shouted,
    As he staggered down the stairs.

    But his little daughter whispered,
    As she took his icy hand,
    "Isn't God upon the ocean,
    Just the same as on the land?"

    Then we kissed the little maiden,
    And we spake in better cheer,
    And we anchored safe in harbor
    When the morn was shining clear.

    James T. Fields

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  10. #10
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    One of my favs... The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by S.T Coleridge

    ....

    The sun, right up above the mast,
    Had fixed her to the ocean:
    But in a minute she 'gan stir,
    With a short uneasy motion -
    Backwards and forwards half her length
    With a short uneasy motion.

    Then like a pawing horse let go,
    She made a sudden bound:
    It flung the blood into my head,
    And I fell down in a swound.

    How long in that same fit I lay,
    I have not to declare;
    But ere my living life returned,
    I heard and in my soul discerned
    Two voices in the air.

    `Is it he?' quoth one, `Is this the man?
    By him who died on cross,
    With his cruel bow he laid full low
    The harmless Albatross.

    ....
    Forum » Rules » FAQ » Tags » Blogs » Groups » Quizzes » e-Texts »
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  11. #11
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    Oh yes, that is a good one.

    Earth and Sea

    IT does me good to see the ships
    Back safely from the deep sea main;
    To see the slender mizzen tips
    And all the ropes that stood the strain;

    To hear the old men shout, "Ahoy!"
    Glad-hearted at the journey done,
    Who fix the favourite to the buoy
    Of sea and wind and moon and sun.

    To meet, when sails are lashed to spars,
    The men for whom earth's free from care,
    And heaven a clock with certain stars,
    And hell a word by which to swear.

    Oliver St. John Gogarty

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  12. #12
    dum spiro, spero Nossa's Avatar
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    Thank you for this thread DM! I really like these poems!
    I'm the patron saint of the denial,
    With an angel face and a taste for suicidal.
    Link URL:
    Only the registered members can see the Link URLs. Please Login OR Register.

  13. #13
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    I am glad you enjoy

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  14. #14
    The Forsaken Merman

    COME, dear children, let us away;
    Down and away below.
    Now my brothers call from the bay;
    Now the great winds shoreward blow;
    Now the salt tides seaward flow; 5
    Now the wild white horses play,
    Champ and chafe and toss in the spray.
    Children dear, let us away.
    This way, this way!

    Call her once before you go. 10
    Call once yet.
    In a voice that she will know:
    'Margaret! Margaret!'
    Children's voices should be dear
    (Call once more) to a mother's ear; 15
    Children's voices, wild with pain.
    Surely she will come again.
    Call her once and come away.
    This way, this way!
    'Mother dear, we cannot stay.' 20
    The wild white horses foam and fret.
    Margaret! Margaret!

    Come, dear children, come away down.
    Call no more.
    One last look at the white-wall'd town, 25
    And the little grey church on the windy shore.
    Then come down.
    She will not come though you call all day.
    Come away, come away.
    Children dear, was it yesterday 30
    We heard the sweet bells over the bay?
    In the caverns where we lay,
    Through the surf and through the swell,
    The far-off sound of a silver bell?
    Sand-strewn caverns, cool and deep, 35
    Where the winds are all asleep;
    Where the spent lights quiver and gleam;
    Where the salt weed sways in the stream;
    Where the sea-beasts, ranged all round,
    Feed in the ooze of their pasture-ground; 40
    Where the sea-snakes coil and twine,
    Dry their mail, and bask in the brine;
    Where great whales come sailing by,
    Sail and sail, with unshut eye,
    Round the world for ever and aye? 45
    When did music come this way?
    Children dear, was it yesterday?

    Children dear, was it yesterday
    (Call yet once) that she went away?
    Once she sate with you and me, 50
    On a red gold throne in the heart of the sea,
    And the youngest sate on her knee.
    She comb'd its bright hair, and she tended it well,
    When down swung the sound of the far-off bell.
    She sigh'd, she look'd up through the clear green sea. 55
    She said, 'I must go, for my kinsfolk pray
    In the little grey church on the shore to-day.
    'Twill be Easter-time in the world—ah me!
    And I lose my poor soul, Merman, here with thee.'
    I said, 'Go up, dear heart, through the waves. 60
    Say thy prayer, and come back to the kind sea-caves.'
    She smiled, she went up through the surf in the bay.
    Children dear, was it yesterday?

    Children dear, were we long alone?
    'The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan. 65
    Long prayers,' I said, 'in the world they say.
    Come,' I said, and we rose through the surf in the bay.
    We went up the beach, by the sandy down
    Where the sea-stocks bloom, to the white-wall'd town.
    Through the narrow paved streets, where all was still, 70
    To the little grey church on the windy hill.
    From the church came a murmur of folk at their prayers,
    But we stood without in the cold-blowing airs.
    We climb'd on the graves, on the stones worn with rains,
    And we gazed up the aisle through the small leaded panes. 75
    She sate by the pillar; we saw her dear:
    'Margaret, hist! come quick, we are here.
    Dear heart,' I said, 'we are long alone.
    The sea grows stormy, the little ones moan.'
    But, ah! she gave me never a look, 80
    For her eyes were seal'd to the holy book.
    Loud prays the priest; shut stands the door.
    Came away, children, call no more.
    Come away, come down, call no more.

    Down, down, down; 85
    Down to the depths of the sea.
    She sits at her wheel in the humming town,
    Singing most joyfully.
    Hark what she sings: 'O joy, O joy,
    For the humming street, and the child with its toy. 90
    For the priest, and the bell, and the holy well.
    For the wheel where I spun,
    And the blessèd light of the sun.'
    And so she sings her fill,
    Singing most joyfully, 95
    Till the shuttle falls from her hand,
    And the whizzing wheel stands still.
    She steals to the window, and looks at the sand;
    And over the sand at the sea;
    And her eyes are set in a stare; 100
    And anon there breaks a sigh,
    And anon there drops a tear,
    From a sorrow-clouded eye,
    And a heart sorrow-laden,
    A long, long sigh 105
    For the cold strange eyes of a little Mermaiden,
    And the gleam of her golden hair.

    Come away, away, children.
    Come children, come down.
    The hoarse wind blows colder; 110
    Lights shine in the town.
    She will start from her slumber
    When gusts shake the door;
    She will hear the winds howling,
    Will hear the waves roar. 115
    We shall see, while above us
    The waves roar and whirl,
    A ceiling of amber,
    A pavement of pearl.
    Singing, 'Here came a mortal, 120
    But faithless was she:
    And alone dwell for ever
    The kings of the sea.'

    But, children, at midnight,
    When soft the winds blow; 125
    When clear falls the moonlight;
    When spring-tides are low:
    When sweet airs come seaward
    From heaths starr'd with broom;
    And high rocks throw mildly 130
    On the blanch'd sands a gloom:
    Up the still, glistening beaches,
    Up the creeks we will hie;
    Over banks of bright seaweed
    The ebb-tide leaves dry. 135
    We will gaze, from the sand-hills,
    At the white, sleeping town;
    At the church on the hill-side—
    And then come back down.
    Singing, 'There dwells a loved one, 140
    But cruel is she.
    She left lonely for ever
    The kings of the sea.'

    Matthew Arnold

  15. #15
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    I think I have read this one before. Thanking you for sharing it, I do enjoy it.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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