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Mermaid Song ©

Gordon Fjaelberg
Bridgend, Wales
2004

Today I met a mermaid,
Graced with a tail and a smile;
The waves of the sea ran green
Through her eyes, and her song
Rocked the foundings of my soul.
Had you said, bare one week gone
That I would be thus enguiled,
"No!" shall I have answered. "No!
What life can any fable lead?"
One rising summer's even
First I heard the mermaid's song;
A fairy-tale of child-hood,
Haunting rhymes from distant ways.
Lone I walked on winnow'd shore
Where breeze nor crowd detracted;
Wavelets blue by sunlit kiss
Wrought symphonies in my mind.
Had I heard it? Did I hear
Not surf on following surf
But lilting ullulations, sweet
As an endless, rolling sigh?
Did I see it? Had I seen
Now a flash, then guilded curve?
What deceits! What trickery!
Were mine eyes set to defraud?
Thus I scanned heat-mired main
The wond'rel to determine;
Came but empty mockery -
Had a mirage dealt me thus?
Days failed to quell the raging
Psalm, full-heeded in my heart,
Clearly sung, entreating me:
"Return whence first I called you,
Return to the winnow'd shore!"
Nights cold-dipped in emptiness
Failed likewise to diminish
That which kept assailing me;
Her voice in my psyche - burnt!
Defiance lent small solace,
In my soul the psalm had etched
Eluding all evictions,
Each attempt to come to terms.
No succour then forthcoming
Yet one notion beat therein:
I must take myself away,
Return to the heart-felt shore!
Long years tramelled through one day,
To the jetty's edge I hied,
A strange calm peace descending
'Pon this mortal to entwine.
"Here I am!" I rounded. "Here!
What will you have done with me?"

Came no response, not 'mediate,
For all that about me lay
An equal to that weightless
Eve, though stiller, more convened.
Had some cacodaemin'd sprite
Enshackled all my senses?
Was I a mere play-pawn,
Some toy, letting others jest?
Then I heard it, then I heard
The siren-lay repeated,
That lilting ullulation
Sweet, my saviour and my bane.
"Come to me!" I trembled. "Come!
Here am I, as you have schemed!"
Then I saw it! Then I saw
In hazildeen'd mid-distance
Shimmering on the surface:
Out-billowing, boiling foam!
No mirage this, eccentric,
But fabulous unfoldings!
Owram-tress'd, of burnish face
Like Lugh in more ancient times,
Soft the mermaid sang her song;
Calm the waves were, gently breezed,
Calm the wind grew, softly blowed.
I gazed long at the vision,
At this unsurpassing sight;
Calling, heard the mermaid song,
Hailing, knew my call returned!
What now, did I think, what comes?
Tokens of ageless telling
Had brought me here on this day,
Unknown, uncomprehending,
Withal - no less profound.
Divest of unborn raiment
I struck through the mirror'd brine;
Fleetingly the vision dived
To surface, her eyes fixed firm.

Magical and mystical
She swam to my side, embraced;
Life a-new coursed through my veins,
Such life as I'd never known.
Fine words I heard within me:
"We have time, my love. All time!"
Then, and then alone, she spoke
Of things only mermaids know:
"My name I give you solely,
That name it is Eyzeraul,
Half-sister to Morwenaig
Who combs her long hair ashore.
Oft-times I've seen you come here
To muse by the jetty's end;
For lone you are, as I am,
Thus I felt your pain the more.
I pledged unto the future
As I sent my song your way:
'Just give your love to my heart,
And it shall be wholly met.'
Mermaids grant their love but once,
And to you I pledge it now;
My breath lies fresh within you,
Life's breath is the truth I bring!
Consummate will be our love
Here, fine by the windless shore,
Dwellers thus of double worlds,
Both of yours, and of mine.
Through torrents wild I'll lead you,
In deep waters we'll disport,
And there shall our bodies cleave
In rapturous acclaim!
Likewise I, on land-lock knoll
Will taste of the Groundling's ways;
To know of your being
Keeps my heart afresh, and clean.
So much to do together,
With so many psalms to sing;
We'll cross the wide world over,
We will traverse every Main.
Here, in the water's Broadway
We possess more than we need."
For me, the land-lock kingdoms
Shall not evermore hold sway;
No slip nor curse of fury
In the deep green e'er prevails.
No more for of Groundlings
Bar my setting down this tale,
Instead - live 'nent vast Oceans
At the side of Eyzeraul.



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