‘Twas on the beach
The tide was low.
I walked alone.
The wind did blow
Off the sea.
It blew off the sea;
A bitter wind to chill the bone,
A misty wind that wet the skin,
A whistling wind set mind to roam
On warmer times and briny foam.
‘Twas on the coast,
The moon was high.
The shadowed bay brush
Fingered the sky
Over the sea.
It grew by the sea
In dense clutches of twigs and brambles,
In dense clumps of withered leaf.
In dense clusters the seagulls nested
And shook me into bitter grief.
‘Twas on an eve
Akin to this
I strolled along
In mind-numbed bliss
Along the sea.
I wandered by the sea
Heedless of the screeching calls,
Ignorant of the gulls' lament,
Oblivious to the chilling wind,
And decrees these signs portend.
‘Twas on a night just like this eve
I ventured from the tower,
To skip along the empty beach
And pick the night bloom flower.
The mournful sea, she sang to me,
And so I sang along
That sad sweet lovely melody,
The Lady's evensong.
And soon she called in voice so soft
And whispering as the wave.
Startled, was I, when Lady Sea.
Uttered out my name.
“Victoria, sweet Victory,”
She called amid the tide,
“Behold the cavern you stand near
And venture forth inside.”
As gentle wave did bid I did.
Into the cave I stepped.
Its darkness seeped around my frame,
So slowly on I crept.
I felt my way into that place,
O’er rock and dusty sand,
And waiting in that secret cove
Found I a Gentleman.
In fine top hat and waxed mustache,
Gray linen gloves and vest,
Brass buttoned jacket with corsage.
So elegantly dressed,
He bade me come and sit awhile
To listen to his stories,
Of arcane trips on pirate ships,
And other deep sea glories.
He spun his tales with mirth and charm.
He demonstrated combat.
His eyes twinkled with each new breath,
And dreary time I forgat
‘Twas nearly twelve when up he stood
And bade me fond Adieu.
I fear I blinked for in a trice
He was not in my view.
I searched the cave and all its cracks,
‘Tween rock and sand bank probed.
But not a sign of Man nor beast
Did I find in that cove.
As I queried for my friend
A sudden spark of light
Did catch my eye from out the sky
And moved me then to fright.
There shone the moon with crescent smile
Now hov’ring o’er the sea
Through misty night reflected waves
The ocean swam at me.
The tide was closer to the cave
Than ever had I seen.
So without a further care
I quit that haunted scene.
A later eve I did return
To that enchanted place,
And found again that handsome Man
who doted on my face.
He smiled and brushed my silken cheek
And said they likened flowers.
I blushed at his bold complement,
But yielded to his powers.
For his humor charmed me so,
I was by him enraptured.
And as that gentle night wore on
My heart had been quite captured.
We sat that evening in the dark
As he read old love poems,
And when again he bid farewell
I departed for home.
‘Twas dozen eves I spent this way
Inside that misty rock.
But on that tenth and third night there
‘Twas when I had my shock.
For on that night I held his hand
And would not say good-bye
When as habit he decreed
‘Twas time for him to fly.
A look of fright did haunt his face
And seizure shook his frame.
And then his eyes, those deep brown orbs,
Lit up with hellish flame.
“I go!” he cried and flung my hand.
He scattered to a nook.
I followed him despite my fear —
I had to simply look.
Woe was I for what I saw
Then did I regret it.
For there he rolled upon the ground
Possessed in angry fit.
I cried to him, “My gentle sir!
What ill has thus befallen?”
But answered he not my rash pleas
And fell into a crawling.
The sound of seagulls’ ghastly cries
Then filled up the chamber.
So my fine handsome Gentleman
Looked to see the clamor.
‘Twas then the seagull swooped inside
And landed on a rock.
It stretched its wings, the hateful thing,
And uttered a great squawk.
The vile creature turned to Him
He met the gull with awe.
It left its perch and flung itself
Extending deadly claw.
Ungodly sounds did issue forth —
A great unholy screech.
I cried in fear and quit from there
To run along the beach.
Along the beach
The moon did glow
Its blood red light
From the sea.
Along the ruddy sea
I ran to home in deathly fright.
My slippered feet scraped through the sand.
My mind did reel in giddy flight
On that upsetting haunted night.
And on the sand
My stomach churned
For as I ran
A fire did burn
Across the bloated sea
I saw at distance bloodied cloud.
I fled as fast as foot could race.
I swore upon all Heaven's grace
“I’ll ne’er again approach that place!”
A month thence passed and I forgot
That handsome Gentleman,
Until one night when on the Light
A haunting voice began,
“Victoria, my dear sweet lass,”
It echoed on the sea,
“Why have you, for the Moon’s cycle,
refused to speak to me?”
“My Lady Night,” I thence replied,
“My true apologies,
But I have sworn I'll not step near
The cavern by your Seas.”
“Oh speak not thus, Victoria.
This cave you must not hate.
For within it's dampened walls
Is where you'll find your fate.
Go this eve and seek that grotto
Whence you’ve been so long missed
Therein you’ll find the Gentleman
Awaiting destined tryst.”
So convincing were her whispers
So enamored my heart
Not stopping but to don my cloak
Lighthouse I did depart.
And on the beach
The Moon was bright.
I heard the Gulls’
Lament in flight
Over the sea.
They flew over the sea.
Wing to wing and side to side
Through blustery gale the sea birds flew.
On rising breeze the gulls did ride
And then alight upon the tide.
I arrived there at the cavern,
Heart pounding in my chest.
My Gentleman bade me enter.
I honored his request.
He sat in darkness as I found him
That first fantastic eve.
But now instead of gentle face
His form showed bitter grief.
“My handsome sir, where is the smile
That month ago you wore?”
Replied he not, but forced a grin
Though smile he did abhor.
“Victoria, listen my love
To what I must convey.
The time has come for my spirit
To now be on its way.
Do not mourn thus my anguished maid
Or wish upon our tryst.
‘Twas not to be, for Lady Sea
My soul has lately missed.”
“I cannot leave,” I thence replied,
“My heart to you I give.
And If my love is not returned
I do not wish to live.”
My anguished pleas, my agonies,
My forlorn vows of love:
All these I gave him willingly
That eve inside that cove.
“If you speak true,” he spake to me
“Then vow you’ll spend the night
Inside this cave, here by my side,
And not give rise to fright.
What is to come can’t be undone.
If my love you shall be
Heed my command. Come hold my hand
And welcome Lady Sea.”
I vowed to him eternal soul,
Forever his to keep.
‘Twas then I heard from out on shore
The seagulls start to weep.
They flocked away as tide approached
And Moon sank towards the sea.
Her waters blocked the cavern’s mouth
and rose up to my knee.
We looked upon each other then
As tide rose in the cave.
He started out and I followed
Into the heaving wave.
He smiled at me as we submerged.
I breathed my final breath.
I did not fear. He held my hand
And lead me to my death.