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The Sirens

by Jerome Malenfant

It is said that there was an island
Where there dwelt ethereal creatures
Creatures that sang of desire,
Creatures that sang with such longing
Songs that lured ships to their dark death
Songs that lured crews to their last breaths
in the midst of a fog-shrouded sea
such as no mortal man had seen.
enchanting all those who came near:
that they banished all memories and fear.
against the rocks and the crags;
to be food for the fish and the crabs.
It is said that a ship of Achaeans
Sailed past this fog-shrouded island
Odysseus sailed past this island
Sailed past the legended island
And Odysseus said he would hear it,
And ordered his crew to bind him
sailed past this forsaken shore.
as its crew returned home from the war.
in the midst of a vast lonely sea;
where the Sirens were once said to be.
he’d hear the Sirens’ dread song.
fast to the mast tight and strong.

Then the ears of the crew were deafened with wax
And they rowed with their arms and they rowed with their backs;
Rowed hard and rowed fast till the danger was past;
They rowed till their hearts nearly collapsed.

And when they were safe and they asked what he’d heard,
Odysseus wept but spoke not a word.
He only looked back towards the island
Where the song of the Sirens he’d heard.

Odysseus alone returned to his home
Gave up his wild sea-faring life,
But every night for the rest of his life,
He heard the song of the Sirens,
He heard the song still and he ached to be
In the midst of the vast lonely sea.
over the white sea foam.
lived quiet with son and with wife.
as Odysseus lay in his bed,
he still heard their song in his head.
on that distant, fog-shrouded island

Copyright © 2019 by Jerome Malenfant

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