Friday, October 19, 2012

Epic of the Ocean 5

Oath of the Sailor


Every mariner entering a ship’s company was required to subscribe to a series of articles constituting the fundament of life, reward, and punishment aboard the vessel. This particular oath is made to God, the surest guide and Captain. Dedicated to Sarah.


Who shall teach me to walk across

waters amidst men? They who perfect

heart and perfect faith to well command

a light, not lead-heavy, heart filled with

sure breath of heaven are not found here

to teach me step that flies. Even amidst

the salt so sharp in judgment could not

glide but a bit above the swelling seas,

that more than driest desert in ice bonded

test their strength, though wisest. What

wind shall know my fear and take it

with gentle touch and ray of sun,

then last bit dispel the residue to

swiftly pull me as high as aided men

do go, and when the squall doth squeal

bloody death to all, stand as if on surest

mountain on tiny grain of faith? What

line will bind and spread this heart

of rock as freest sail of whitest cloth?


Stella Maris! Virgin Mary, sweet and

guide, enlist for me the aid and captainship

of God! Lord, grant me purity of mind,

let fall the shackles of my pride, become

as child blameless and blind to division

of known and unknown. For I know

nothing, and thus see everything as

gem of wisdom to stow in tiny treasury

of soul. Upon this shore I break mere

excellence, where I jumped but once

my height on earth, that I may though

fall in trough twice my length, then

rise on crest thrice more closer than

I’ve ever been to sky. I bind myself

to happy king and vicar of God upon

these waters, and under hand, though

human, behold yet living unbearable

and awesome countenance of my Lord.


And in daily grind and grumble may

the angel of God send me peace, not

stopped and hindered in this domain

without highways of dirt. For this is

needle that pierces space for divine cord,

to wide set heart and thus propel spirit,

though stretched at first then walking

lightly in the gale made breeze of Holy Spirit.

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