Darkness surrounds me so profound
it has swallowed sky and all its stars
with menacing shadow that begins to
chew and churn the crashing spray.
All the world is in ferocious fury,
a devil’s frenzy unleashed to toss sail
and cloud against the bared depth of ocean.
If this is not the valley of death, the
frightful water mountains we ride with
little say as to destiny of brig or life,
that I can scarce imagine deeper pit
of doom to consume us in an instant.
O wind! Wind of such anger! Why do
you howl round us, like some possessed
hound, beast by spear in heart wounded?
Did our jib cut a vital vein, or our main
scratch, disturb you on your way? Or does
some depression of the air bewitch your mind,
make you stumble with push and shove
as you gallop in splitting pain? I have no
balm to offer, save compassion negated
by a crushing ire, transforming into tryst.
So I find my appeal in the Star of the Sea,
the one star constant and unchanging,
uncovered even in the clouds of squall.
Mary! Be now close, advocate of sinners,
surest recourse of mariners! Spread
thine azure cloak bejeweled with night’s
stars, to guide us safe through trying storm.
To you we cry, to child Jesus, to pet this
mass of mighty air, mellow it and
the pounding waves cracking our hull.
And such a morsel of living faith I have,
that with pull of sheet and secure brace
I pray so that I feel as safe as one sure rock
with promise of salvation. Even in
the whip of rain I hear already gentle whisper
of rising don. Just a little more, and God
Himself will unfold happy right of His
waxing Glory in the rosy sky of East.