The Ship Beelzebub


Now breaking through the misty sea
with scores of seagulls merrily
as like when kings their servants send
to cry his proach to any friend,
or to his foe, should one be near,
the cry’s to all, the cry is clear,
the seagulls cry the coming of
the dreaded ship, Beelzebub.

A ship, you think, and like as naught
as any ship subject to rot,
that is to time, and to decay
—all works of man last but a day—
and yet it is the tale is told,
that one ship, she will never mold,
but through all time is searching of
the soul to sail Beelzebub.

She’s tired of one! Look at him now!
And there he is, cast to her prow!
The birds all peck and eat what’s left,
stripping the figurehead bereft.
Anon, our cove she’ll come and hit;
running aground she’ll carve a pit
into the sandy beaches of
this shore, the shore o’Beelzebub.

Anon, perchance a man walks by
and sees the tattered banners fly
within the breeze blowing to sea,
and longs—he longs—to be set free.
He climbs down to the wrecked timber,
and from the cold he soon shivers.
But far too late, he’ll then learn of
the cruel, cunning Beelzebub.

For then the tide will softly creep
—he’ll know it not as like a sheep
which near a hungry wolf will graze.
The sight of her so oft amaze
the wanderers about this cove
which down this craggy path have strove,
and they forget the hist’ries of
them who captained Beelzebub.

They climb aboard, every captain,
and then it is the tide flows in
as like a flood, sudden and swift.
And thus the ship begins to drift
into the cold, blue winter’s sea.
Of his folly he’ll pay the fee:
The night soon sets, and he learns of
the dread, the dread o’Beelzebub.

She’ll ne’er take him again to land,
to walk upon home’s gracious sand,
but into dark, deep waters go;
he’s trapped within the current’s flow.
And so he’ll waste away to bone
upon her deck, sad and alone.
This curse, to learn any more of
then you must sail Beelzebub.

She takes a man, but then one day
—one such as this, cast in a haze—
returns to land, hungry for more,
returns always unto this shore.
And so the young sailor should think,
before he’s want to take a drink,
whereat his course, th’heading whereof,
has he boarded Beelzebub.


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