Archive for June 12th, 2011

A Song of the Sea

June 12, 2011


The mermaids and mermen below the sea
A wonderful organ made;
With the tenderest care and loving art
Its every part was laid.
Wood they brought from the wrecks below,
And gold where the ships went down;
They used no nails, but fastened it well
With threads from a baby’s gown.

One pipe gave the sound of a song so sweet
That was sung by a beautiful girl;
A mermaid caught it, and kept it safe,
Wrapped round with a golden curl.
The next pipe’s note was the sound of a kiss
That a mother gave her son,
As he stood on the deck of a noble ship
That went down ere the day was done.

This pipe gave forth the sound of a prayer
That was heard when the storm was high;
And next was the laugh from some children dear,
Who saw no danger nigh.
A strong man’s voice was heard in the next,
And it was firm and clear,
He said, “God bless you, dear,” to his wife,
When he saw that death was near.

So the mermaids and mermen gathered all
Of the voices his in the deep;
They placed them in the pipes and reeds,
To be roused once more from sleep.
But the beautiful organ displeased the one
Who rules the winds and waves,
For the sounds that were placed in the organ’s pipes
Belonged to the ocean’s caves.

So he placed them back in the silent depths,
In the caves of the south and north,
For the voices lost in the sea must stay
Until he calls them forth.
But if you listen, you hear them all
Come up from the sounding sea —
The prayer, the song, the kiss, the laugh,
That some time shall be free.

— Boston True Flag.

Daily Huronite (Huron, South Dakota) Sep 17, 1890