Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE BALLAD OF BAZILE BORGNE, by IDA COLE BARTLATT



Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE BALLAD OF BAZILE BORGNE, by            
First Line: Always the river called to him
Last Line: Arms unseen now cling to him!
Subject(s): Boats; Pirates; Sailing & Sailors; Sea; Piracy; Buccaneers; Seamen; Sails; Ocean


Always the river called to him—
Sea-going ships and wheeling gulls
He loved,—the tar and the painted stacks,
Rush of the storm and the brooding lulls.
The fleecy fog had swaddled him;
When foghorns blew he hushed his cries;
Waves crooned the sweetest lullabies,
Rocking the schooner cradle-wise ...
No mother-arms to coddle him!

Brown sailors talked of frozen fjords,
Of tropic skies, of hurricanes:
He dreamed of the shark, and the monster whale,
Yearned for typhoons, and strange sea-lanes.
Time came when he sailed the seven seas;
Then he shipped with a buccaneer
For the spoils of wines, and gems, and gold
To make him rich, and bring him cheer ...
No woman-arms could hamper him!

The pirate's daughter cast a spell
That burnt in his soul like a brand;
But the father drove him from the ship
Near a wild and desert land.

There was mutiny; and the girl escaped
To follow her Bazile's skiff
In a squall that shattered her fragile trawl
Waves ferried her, white and stiff ...
O the cold arms reached for him!

He laid the maiden in her grave ...
Wild asters for her bed!
And he carved a cross to mark the loss,
And heaped white sand on her head.

Each midnight hour she haunts his door—
He can never sail the sea!
For she holds him here forever more ...
In spite of the call of the sea.
Arms unseen now cling to him!





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