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City In The Sea


Under the feet of each dancing wave
There is a city the waters lave,
A silent city of greenish gloom,
Where pallid sailors, like wraiths of doom.
Go rolling down each coral street
With sea-washed eyes, with dragging feet.
That make no sound, as they wander on,
Where there is neither dusk nor dawn.
Where there is only the ghastly glow
Of starless night that the fishes know.
Their veins now deaf to the call of sin,
They make their way to the Mermaid Inn,
Where pale mermaidens with seaweed hair
Serve them their grog and return each stare
With eyes unseeing, with lips as cold
As winds that wail down the snowy wold;
Though sailors evermore shout and sing,
When they are having their giddy fling,
No song is sung and no word is said
By these wan sailors who all are dead.
Like shadows lost in a river fog.
They sit for hours and sip their grog,
The tomb-like stillness unmarred, unbroken
By shuffling feet or a word outspoken,
Until the doors on the inn swing wide
To let strange sailormen crowd inside,
And on the instant their tongues find life
To cut the silence as with a knife,
"One more ship garnered to Davy Jones!
And these are her crew! God rest their bones!"