I heard the wreathéd coral horn
That Triton blew, and less forlorn
Did suddenly I feel:
I heard the sirensong afar
I launched a ship and tracked a star
How soon my heart did heal!

I saw the shade of Hy Brasil,
And what delight within me filled
To find the Faery-land!
I would have halted, but the mists
Did swirl and whirl and coil and twist
‘Round the perilous strand.

On I sailed, under lonely skies
Under lonely stars that winked their eyes
And watched me at the helm:
The sea, a lonely maiden, sighed
And whispered soft her empty lies
That fooled this mortal realm.

The sea is a maiden, they say
Unpredictable, night or day
Trust not her smiling face;
Loneliness is a mask she wears,
Mystery is the crown she bears
But in her heart, there’s rage.

I thought I drowned, and in a dream
I saw a great serpentine queen
Who lived under the sea;
And then I heard the mermaid’s song,
And listened to it an hour long
For she did sing for me.

Her song was of pain and sorrow,
Of love that n’er saw the morrow,
And tears that long were wept;
And in a thousand stars she saw
Written an invisible door
That I had never mapped.

Her love had wings, she sang, he flew
Into that starry door of blue
And never did return:
Although she called his name that night
And waited ‘till the dawn’s first light
Upon her pale face burned.

Then her tone did change to anger,
Then I heard the sound of thunder
Clapping in the distance;
And maddened, she did shout and scream,
I was afeared, though ‘twas a dream,
Then she uttered silence.

Now I heard the sirens calling,
And I heard the sea-gods brawling
Over some fickle thing;
Proteus, I saw him transform
From a seal into a man, adorned
With shells and seaweed strings.

My eyes did open; I awoke
To the dawn that new had broke
East of the wailing sea;
Upon the shore my head did rest
I rose and gazed into the west
Where foam and spray danced free.

Triton’s horn sounded, and the Star
Beckoned to me from leagues afar,
The Sea herself did sing
The strain of a some familiar tune
That once I heard beneath the moon
Now in my heart did ring.


To Wordsworth

Wordsworth, I pray thee, return to this mortal land –
Heaven can spare thee. The angels will understand.
Earth has greater need of thee.

Thine words are read, but no longer heeded;
Humanity is cold; into “reason” receded.
There is no living voice as loud to awaken
These “logical” hearts; whom thought has forsaken.
They desire truth, but they decide it;
They desire beauty, and they design it.
The world is cold, so grey and dark now;
Wordsworth, I pray thee, liven it somehow.

Grasp a secret from the whispering trees
Capture an echo from the roaring seas,
Find a dewdrop on a budding rose
And tell them of these, that they shall know.
Teach them to marvel at the butterfly,
Which sleeps a worm, and wakens to the sky;
Remind them of beauty in the mundane,
Bid them to rescue that which might not remain.

Give them a song that they must listen,
Hand them a story from the stars that glisten;
Whisper to them an Elysian verse
That mayhap Keats had oft rehearsed:
Show them a dream that they will not abandon,
Write them a skyline, a broader horizon;
Learn them to see with enlightened eyes
That they release contented sighs.

So Wordsworth, I pray thee, return to this mortal land –
Heaven can spare thee. The angels will understand.
Earth has greater need of thee.


Mandy Moe Pwint Tu is a Burmese poet studying in Australia.

Featured Image: “Schooner in Fairhaven Harbor Sunrise” by William Bradford (1823-1892).

NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or commentary.

CODEC Stories:

5 Responses

  1. NealD

    Seasong is the most musical poem I can recall outside of Tolkien. Burma & Australia at the very least are represented here as attractive, compelling and rhythmic locales.

  2. Alvaro

    Mandy, dont ask me how I came across this, I do not know! But these are amazing! Though then again, no surprise there. :p


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Captcha loading...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.