Fisherwives at home make weary watch
For masts to show above the waves
And signal that their men are safe
At least until another day.
But hope fades fast with face forlorn
When night-time comes and all alone
They weep and cry to God in sorrow
To keep those souls upon the horror
That is the sea safe till at home
They hold them in their arms once more.
Lights burn all night in houses many
Making beacons to guide the company
Who toil and sweat as weary slaves
To head their stricken ship into the waves.
The vessel writhes in labour pains
And threatens to deliver it’s babes
Premature into the arms
Of Neptune’s bloodthirsty midwife.
That dreadful cry echoes again
The sickening laughter of the deep.
A man has fallen overboard;
Soon swallowed by the dribbling mouth
Whose lashing tongue of foam and frost
Licks the lips of that dread beast.
Sensing victory rewards it’s fight
It flails watery arms with greater might.
The merciless beating takes its toll,
the boat is small, it cringes now.
The trawler founders, sinks slowly down.
There’s peace below but pain above.
Full sixty foot waves lash the deck;
Neptune demands another wreck.
Fortune hides her face from them.
Despair their only companion then.
The boat is lost, the cargo gone,
No more that battle rages on.
Exposure, exhaustion, they are the foe.
The beast now has them in it’s jaw.
Weary, weary, why not sleep?
Better that than this precarious seat
Upon this bucking beast of hell
That roars in anger and threshes them down.
The ocean heaves as it gorges itself
On the human prey within it’s maw
Who as they die it swallows one by one,
Dropping them into it’s cavernous bowels.
In homes upon that distant shore
Hope dies at dawn to rise no more.
The beacons die as the sun comes out
But for that crew there’s no glad shout.
Instead they weep and mourn new dead,
Husbands lost, some before they wed.
Their lives are shattered, who can they turn to?
Some turn to God, some think he’s failed them.
The sea brings death and set them apart,
Yet who but God, can mend broken hearts?