Samstag, 17. April 2010

The old man and the sea: A ballad

Santiago was an old man on the sea
seafaring his wont and he lived, as a sailor would be.

Strong were his arms and great was his soul
laughter he carried in a face lined and old.

On the fateful day the story begins
a harpoon and a cudgel he carried to seafaring.

There he trapped a fish of whose tale I sing
noble and strong, it was the sea's king.

Grudgingly it dragged him away into the sea
only to find his quarry follow with glee.

Long was the voyage and mighty were his sinew
but his follower of naught sleep and rest knew.

Now the prey was tired and it was shaken
so it emerged on the surface to glimpse the foe it had taken.

Sharp was the harpoon and accurate was the aim
the fisherman in a mighty throw had ended the game.

And he bound this bounty to his ship
and readied the sail for the return trip.

But the sea is angry at this obstinacy of man
so he sends his demons to steal what they can.

The demons were in shark form, Hungry and Evil
Their jaws snapping loud, like hammer on anvil.

The old man fought them to protect his prize,
”till 'death do us apart”, were with the fish, his ties.

Gallantly he fought to fend off the enemy
but man can do naught if his foes are many.

Lost was his harpoon and broken was his blade,
filled was the battle with blood and dread.

Resourceful was Our Hero even in the strife,
out of sharpened oar he fashioned a knife.

There came a point when his strength was gone,
he fell from power, beaten and torn.

The end as it came, saw hands that were scarred,
and a body that was broken and battered by the sharks.

The foe, it stripped the fish bare to its bones,
never was a sight sadder to describe in words or tones.

His heart was shattered in the long and painful trek,
but there remained something unchanged in his wreck.
As He was laid on the bed to wait to heal,
stop, he would not to follow adventure with zeal.
The fruits of his victory lay not in the prize;
they lay in the spirit that never dies.

Hail Santiago, the old man on the seas,
May his tribe live forever and free...

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