She was a talented field herald, skilled artisan, privateer captain of the Our Lady of Java, loyal friend, and beloved daughter and sister. Her heart was great, her laughter rich and her spirit strong. We raise a glass of red wine to her memory. She gave to so many before she sailed away from these lands, and will be sorely missed.
Beyond the shoreward swell a ship rides tall
With reaching mast and billowed golden sail,
And from the forecastle rings the captainís call.
To strike a course abaft of glen and vale.
We cannot hear her laughter on the moors
Nor see the flashing beauty of her eye
Nor feel the warmth of spirit that endures
Nor in our grieving evermore draw nigh.
We watch her come about, and on the wind
Go forth upon the oceanís heaving breast,
And we are left behind to mourn a friend
Who will not be returning home to rest.
We bid adieu from shores become less sweet,
Until on other strands once more we meet.
[Bronwen o Gydweli, 20 June, A.S. XL, 2005]
Alas Sweet Shannon
Alas, sweet Shannon, I bid thee farewell,
The time we spent as friends was far too brief,
Longer, I fear, will there be spent in grief,
For one within whom chivalry did swell,
Whose smile and wit did many comforts lend,
And sadly, has reached a much too early end.
Thy kindness will always be a treasured gift,
A memory of giving, of thy most sharing soul,
When sorrows and troubles began to take their toll,
A thought of thy presence would cause one's heart to lift,
Thy charity of being, a port within the storm,
Sanctuary offered, within thy smile warm.
But now, it seems, thy soul has heard the call,
The Sea of Mysteries beckons thee, "Come!
Adventure, treasures of unearthly sum,
For thee we wait, until thou claimst us all!"
And lo, the pirate's blood within thee wailed,
So seaward set thou thy ship and sailed.
And so, sweet lady, I pray thy course be true,
That the winds of Time blow swiftly, to thy gain,
Leave mortal life and all its earthly pain,
Let wondrous sights and mysteries ensue,
And mad adventure be thy just reward,
To live by compass, sail, and pirate's sword.
One last request, and of the selfish sort,
When thou plunders on that dreaming Sea,
And all good things have come to thee,
Should you take liberty in a foreign port,
And see this poet standing, near the pier's end,
I pray you will embrace me, and call me friend.
Farewell Shannon. We'll meet again someday.
Your friend, Bastiano