Guest poem submitted by Erin Mansell , in response to our "Sea Poems" theme from a few weeks ago:
(Poem #1014) A Sea Dirge
There are certain things--as, a spider, a ghost, The income-tax, gout, an umbrella for three-- That I hate, but the thing that I hate the most Is a thing they call the Sea. Pour some salt water over the floor-- Ugly I'm sure you'll allow it to be: Suppose it extended a mile or more, That's very like the Sea. Beat a dog till it howls outright-- Cruel, but all very well for a spree: Suppose that he did so day and night, That would be like the Sea. I had a vision of nursery-maids; Tens of thousands passed by me-- All leading children with wooden spades, And this was by the Sea. Who invented those spades of wood? Who was it cut them out of the tree? None, I think, but an idiot could-- Or one that loved the Sea. It is pleasant and dreamy, no doubt, to float With "thoughts as boundless, and souls as free": But, suppose you are very unwell in the boat, How do you like the Sea? There is an insect that people avoid (Whence is derived the verb "to flee"). Where have you been by it most annoyed? In lodgings by the Sea. If you like your coffee with sand for dregs, A decided hint of salt in your tea, And a fishy taste in the very eggs-- By all means choose the Sea. And if, with these dainties to drink and eat, You prefer not a vestige of grass or tree, And a chronic state of wet in your feet, Then--I recommend the Sea. For I have friends who dwell by the coast-- Pleasant friends they are to me! It is when I am with them I wonder most That anyone likes the Sea. They take me a walk: though tired and stiff, To climb the heights I madly agree; And, after a tumble or so from the cliff, They kindly suggest the Sea. I try the rocks, and I think it cool That they laugh with such an excess of glee, As I heavily slip into every pool That skirts the cold cold Sea.
I have been cursing for the last week or so this stint on the sea so I went in search of some levity on the subject and feel compelled to forward this to you. I could find very little information on this particular poem but I felt if I had to see one more line on the sea it had better be funny. Enjoy! Erin. [Minstrels Links] Lewis Carroll: Poem #52, Jabberwocky Poem #265, The Mad Gardener's Song Poem #347, The Walrus and the Carpenter Poem #409, Poeta Fit, Non Nascitur Poem #600, The Mouse's Tale Poem #935, The Lobster Quadrille Poem #964, How Doth the Little Crocodile The cold cold Sea: Poem #27, Sea Fever -- John Masefield Poem #29, The Sea and the Hills -- Rudyard Kipling Poem #31, Break, break, break -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson Poem #74, Cargoes -- John Masefield Poem #93, Eärendil was a mariner -- J. R. R. Tolkien Poem #109, The Viking Terror -- Anon. (Irish, 9th century) Poem #114, The Soul Cages -- Gordon Matthew 'Sting' Sumner Poem #140, By The Sea -- Christina Rossetti Poem #141, The City in the Sea -- Edgar Allan Poe Poem #143, Harp Song of the Dane Women -- Rudyard Kipling Poem #145, Ice -- Anon. (Old English, 10th century) Poem #161, The Yarn of the Nancy Bell -- W. S. Gilbert Poem #326, The Seafarer -- Anon. (Old English, pre-10th century Poem #431, Sea Love -- Charlotte Mew Poem #522, In Harbor -- Constantine Cavafy Poem #657, The Dark and Turbulent Sea -- Stephen Dobyns Poem #717, The Wreck of the Hesperus -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Poem #758, Sea-Change -- John Masefield Poem #775, The Maldive Shark -- Herman Melville Poem #896, The Kraken -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson Poem #903, Leviathan -- Anon. Poem #935, The Lobster Quadrille -- Lewis Carroll Poem #984, On the Beach at Night -- Walt Whitman Poem #985, Once by the Pacific -- Robert Frost Poem #986, A Grave -- Marianne Moore Poem #987, Prayer -- Carol Ann Duffy Poem #988, The Idea of Order at Key West -- Wallace Stevens Poem #989, The Lotos-Eaters -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson Poem #990, Sea Calm -- Langston Hughes Poem #991, Seascape -- Stephen Spender