Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Joy V. Sheridan & David Russell write

Quest Triste
Section 3

The oceans roared, a crossing of seas
That hit the stern persistently: 
Spite and malice foamed on these waves, 
A crossing, a chancing, a malevolent glare. 
Mighty the creatures that swam from the depths. 
Meckelle, in his dream, unperturbed as yet.
Then a cloud of darkness loomed down: 

Phelisias his victim had found. 
But Poseidon, with a careful eye 
Guided the vessel home and dry. 
Phelisias, in torment's storm - a youth so beauteous, 
Was made to mourn: 
So his became the sorrow severe . . .

Meckelle to an island was cast - a sailor, naive, 

Unperturbed, beached and dry 
On a sandy reach. 
Here he lazed awhile, grown yet older, 
With a sadness to his smile. 

"Twenty-one are you, my brother?" 

"And twenty-one you too, my sister fair?" 
"Do you not feel sometimes a longing?" 
"Yes," she answered, 
With such a common sigh of despair. 
"Oh let us then," he quickly said 
"See what is driven from the ocean's bed." 
Hand in hand they left their place, 
Which somehow seemed guarded 
By a thousand invisible, wraith-like ghosts and sprites, 
Mentors in whom these two found delight. 

"Shall we look for meteors?" she said. 

"Oh no: for meteors are dead." 
They twisted and danced amidst the trees 
Until unto the beach they trod 
Their footprints filled with flowers, 
All inhibitions they had shed, 
Of Hesperus they had no need, 
So happy hand in hand 
They looked upon the sea and sand.

Until, from the corner of his eye 

The boy did there espy 
A vessel grounded, to the port-hand side: 
"Oh look sister: a stranger who is abandoned 
By this morning's tide." 
She, in exultation did cry 
"Come: let us see fair brother, whom this might be
Which Poseidon has cast to us 

From the depths of the mighty sea."

With silence, solemnity and sombre grace
Then she paused, and for a moment thought 

"Should we, dare we, should we ought?" 
"Ah! Waken the stranger," he replied.
 His eye glanced upward to the azure sky 
And hers upon the waters cast 
"Yes; yes: for all things come, as all must pass." 
They moved Meckelle gently, so deep his sleep, 
And moved him with a tender grace, 
Each one exulting in his face, 
Like death before death, his final throes: 
They knew him placed, as the snows.

And yet his heartbeat burst with a fierce fire,  

Then, to them both a longing, a far stranger desire: 
Weightlessly it seemed, they moved him from the beach, 
Unseen hands helped them to learn, to teach: 
Unto their abode they thence conveyed 
This sleeping form from yesterday.

"Whence is this place?" Meckelle did cry. 

"Who are you? Are you mortal, 
Or in some myth disguised? 
What? These vapours that surround you so, 
And the perfume of the hidden snow? 
You lay me upon pillows, where dreams are nought: 
I do but half-hear you, who am but half-taught."

She bent down, upon one knee, 

She said "You were bequeathed to us by the sea. 
Then, with a vengeance in his voice 
Meckelle spoke: 
"I belong to no-one: do not rejoice 
In that which you do not know: 
I might be ice, or fire, or snow!"

Fair, sumptuous fruits they gathered, 

Filled him with nectars divine. 
Upon a bed he saw them, in repose. 
They rose, with sighs contented.
Then towards him they did come, 

Their arms were beckoning. 
"You may yet . . ." she said 
". . . Complete our sum," her twin replied. 
With every incantation in their souls, 
Their seduction seemed him to enfold.

With palm outstretched he said "Come near me not!" 

With his left hand he said "I sense your lot 
Is not all to prosperity's gain, 
To wealth or wisdom, or immortal fame."

His eyes as icy as the Polar Caps: 

"Come no closer!" Meckelle did cry, 
"For I have heard your island lullaby. 
A borrowed stranger on a stretch of sand: 
You must let me depart, 
For I've seen the bands of Eternity 
In strange and foreign lands: 
Yes! Something rarer, something barer 
Than that which you would expose, 
For I have seen, yet in a dream 
A being more beautiful than two 
A Goddess, filled with the dew of longings 
Which you would expurgate. 
Her form and face tell me it is not too late! 
Then I must to my boat repair 
All for to seek this blossom fair."

Dolefully, the twins looked into each other's eyes: 

"Oh, what a surprise you have given us, creature of the sea! 
But from your journey's quest we'll not divert you; 
Yes, we will fill your boat with fruit and flowers 
And not pervert you." 
Thus the sentences did fly: Meckelle, upoon his boat 
Did seek another place quite high and dry. 
They bade 'Adieu', their sweet twin voices sang; 
Upon the tree, a flower yet did hang.

He left them, looking towards the West, 

The setting sun, a certain quest. 
They waved farewell, until 
A cloud of darkness, unknowing,
Covered them; for there was sleet and rain 

And it was snowing.

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