Verse > Anthologies > William Wilfred Campbell, ed. > The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse
William Wilfred Campbell, comp.  The Oxford Book of Canadian Verse.  1913.
Mermaid’s Song
By John Hunter-Duvar (1821–1899)
A GALLANT fleet sailed out to sea
With the pennons streaming merrily;
On the hulls the tempest lit,
And the great ships split
    In the gale,        5
And the foaming fierce sea-horses
Hurled the fragments in their forces
To the ocean deeps,
Where the kraken sleeps,
    And the whale.        10
The men are in the ledges’ clefts,
Dead, but with motion of living guise
Their bodies are rocking there,
Monstrous sea-fish and efts
Stare at them with glassy eyes        15
As their limbs are stirred, and their hair.
Moan, O sea!
O death at once and the grave,
And sorrow in passing, O cruel wave!
Let the resonant sea-caves ring,        20
And the sorrowful surges sing,
For the dead men rest but restlessly.
We do keep account of them,
And sing an ocean requiem
    For the brave.        25

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