Daily Archives: April 23, 2014

“Ballade”: a poem


Keeping with our celebration of National Poetry Month, we present another of WHH’s poems.

This striking poem was not published until the November, 1977, issue of Fantasy Crossroads, where it appeared until the alternative title, “Who Make Their Bed in Deep Waters”.  It was included in the edition of The Lost Poetry of William Hope Hodgson (2005) which was edited by Jane Frank.  It is a haunting poem which echoes Poe.

Ballade

 Who Make Their Bed In The Deep Waters

 

            We are dying,

               And the sea is very still,

           And some of the children are crying,

            And some are ill,

                     And seven are dead

                       And their mothers make their bed.
8

            We are dying,

                 Two boats just full of us,

            And the little ones are lying

              Quietly–thus and thus,

                       And twelve are dead

                       And their mothers made their bed.

8

            We are dying,

                 Another day has gone,

        And no child is crying,

                 In the gloaming wan

                       They all are dead

                       And their mothers made their bed.

8

            We are dying,

             It is just before the dawn,

            The mothers all are lying

                 Silent e’er the morn

                       Forlornly dead

                       And I made their bed.

 8

We are dying,

                 The evening’s sun is low,

            And my lover-lad is crying

                 Weak in utter woe

                       O’er me dead

                   E’er he make my bed.

 8

We are dying,

                 My lover thought me gone,

            In his two arms lying,

                 But I saw him wan

                   Nearly dead

                       And his arms my bed.

 8

We are silent now,

                 For I reached and drew

                       My lover to me, dying,

        And the glad young brow

                       Sailed against me lying

                 E’er he knew

                             Quietly dead

                             On my bosom for his bed.

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under William Hope Hodgson