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A Ballad of the Sea

By Roy LaMoyne

OUT from the darkness of the wood
 She came a glittering shaft of light
Who carried at her breast a rood
 Deep woven in the garment’s white.
She was a maiden fair to see
 With hair in plaited golden strands,
And eyes of radiant mystery,
 And slender, folded, patient hands.
In slow step and with voiceless prayer
 She paced the fringes of the sea
Now melting in the misted air.
 Or waiting, listening quietly.
Then loosened she the braided gold
 That fell like sunshine through her bands
Beseemed she then to pause and hold
 Strange worship on the naked sands.
She stopped her pacing to and fro,
 Stooping where the ocean swept
And like a lily bending low
 She bowed her lovely head and wept.
"I've come in answer to thy voice,
 Oh, mighty thunder of the sea;
I’ve waited long in seeking choice
 Of whether 1 should come to thee.
"Here in the solitude of night
 My heart has found its needed rest
Where I shall end a weary flight
 Within the darkness of thy breast."
The dull boom of the surf died down.
 The wind grew tongueless in the trees.
She loosed the clasp that held her gown
 And let K drop about her knees.
With hands held forward to the sea
 And murmuring lips, she took her flight....
From out the sky a storm broke free
 And shattered noisily the night.
When with the morning sun the Night
 Drew up her darkened skirts and fled
The townfolk viewed the tempest’s might.
 The scattered wreckage and the dead.
Out from the wood, down to the sea,
 With shaking, outspread, pleading hands,
A youth in wide-eyed misery
 Stopped where she rested on the sands.
"Here with the shattered hulks of ships
 Lies one who knew the sea’s duress;
Think, three weeks gone I pressed these lips
 And gazed upon her loveliness.
"There once thrilled In these open eyes
 Now darkened by the death of light,
A glow more radiant than the skies
 When day stands face to face with night.
"Is this not wondrous lovely hair
 That runs like sunshine through my hands?
Why stand you piteous beggars there
 In stinging silence on the sands?"
He raised his arms above his head
 Loud cursing all life’s misery.
And with a shriek he plunged ahead
 Into the darkness of the sea.