The Dragon Ship

The Dragon Ship

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

I knew she was Scandinavian

With those plaits in her flaxen hair,

And her eyes were such a brilliant blue

They were quite beyond compare,

I’d watch her make her way to the beach

Down the stony clifftop way,

But didn’t know she was waiting for him

Till I saw them come that day.

 

I doubt if she understood our tongue

Though trapped on an English shore,

I’d greet her as I’d greet anyone

With a wave and a smile, for sure,

But she’d bow her head, and hurry away

Determined we shouldn’t meet,

I little knew where her secret lay

Though I’d pass her along the street.

 

She seemed to live in a cottage that

Had been tumbling down for years,

Up on a tuft of poverty grass

That time had dismayed, and cursed,

Her clothes, designed in a northern clime

Must have been hand-sewn with twine,

The colours faded, the patterns run

But to me, she was more than fine.

 

I watched her all through the Autumn as

She wandered along the beach,

She always stopped at the same old spot

Where the rocks had formed a breach,

The waves would part as they hit the rocks

And a plume sprayed in the air,

Forming a mist of droplets that would

Glisten, all through her hair.

 

Then winter came in a fury with

Its grey and its fretful skies,

And storms were lashing the seafront

Keeping us home, those who were wise,

But she still ventured abroad some days

Though the wind would take her breath,

And make her stagger along the path

Till I thought she’d catch her death.

 

Something drove her along that path

For she seemed to be obsessed,

The days were dark, you could barely see,

You’d think that those rocks were blessed,

She’d come back up in an hour or so

With her clothes so soaked and wet,

That once I called, and she came right in,

The first time that we’d met.

 

She couldn’t answer my questions though,

She spoke in a foreign tongue,

One that was heard in northern climes

Back when the world was young,

And when she dried, she walked away

But pointed out to the sea,

And mouthed a single word, a name,

‘Brynjar’, it had seemed to me.

 

That night a terrible storm began,

A storm like I’d never seen,

With dense black rolling thunder clouds

That lightning lit, between,

I watched as she wandered out once more

And I looked down to the shore

And noticed a strange old sailing ship

Like I’d seen in a book, before.

 

The prow was high, and a dragon’s head

Stared snarling out through the hail,

A huge square sail was fluttering,

Torn in the raging gale,

And at the prow a warrior, who

Clung onto an oar and spar,

While from the shore, a sudden scream

Had cut through the air, ‘Brynjar!’

 

The ship was swept on the jagged rocks

That had formed a solid breach,

And shattered, as it had broken its back,

To spill its men on the beach,

But Brynjar, lost on the self-same rocks

Caused her to scream, at last,

Just as that scene had faded out

A long lost scene from the past.

 

I never once saw that girl again,

It’s now that I think I know,

How desperate things return sometimes

In a sort of afterglow,

For Brynjar’s ship was a Dragon ship

From a thousand years before,

Whose Viking crew came for who knows who,

Trapped on the English shore.

 

David Lewis Paget


© 2015 David Lewis Paget



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Featured Review

You certainly know how to create a fantasy that thrills the reader. Descriptive and romantic touches, laced with chilly, scary and alarming Dread. What a brilliant combination! I can always count on you to necessitate reading at least twice as I wonder where these creative juices come from. Is it a thousand works or two......each different......and very rarely, I assume, about You. How refreshing!! There must be so much more.......I can only imagine.......Barbz

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Your imagination escapes me...how you can come up with so many stories...well written story...

Posted 1 Year Ago


i liked this one david it was surreal

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Incredible, what a beautiful story. Completely evokes the time and place and has an epic quality. I was totally absorbed. Thank you.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very nice dream filled adventure tale. I love the pictures of those old ships. No computers or cell phones back then....Valentine

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What a story! I can feel myself there with the watcher, with the girl, watching upon the shore. I love the way that the various elements and moods weave themselves together, producing an exceptionally well-rounded poem.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I can only echo what the others have said below. You have a talent for story telling in your poems that is amazing. I loved the end with its spooky connotations. Excellent poem David. I too wish I had wrote it.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Echoes of long ago - excellently told David with super detailed imagery (loved the spray droplets attention to detail - could almost feel them on my face).
I read once about acoustics experts hearing things that proportedly came from the past - in walls - but then again that might have been one of those nights I was on the Guinness.
Beautiful tale well told. You'd have been a big hit in the longhouse DLP - come to ponder it - it was probably one of your direct ancestors that created Odin and Loki and the rest - you do have that Norse look about your youthful avatar.
;p


Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I don't know if you saw a 1980 movie by John Carpenter called The Fog but in the opening scene there's a salty old sea dog captain on a beach surrounded by a bunch of kids, it's probably midnight and everyone is wrapped in blankets as the captain tells them a ghostly tale in the dark with mist rolling in off the sea and the kids all scrunched up together in a cosy nook around a fire listening wide-eyed to his tale. Well! David, you are that salty old sea dog and we are your adoring children listening with awed intent to yet another magnificent story of wonder and fascination, so bravo my friend, I would have loved to have been on that beach but here and now is every bit as good, thank you.

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

A tremendous write David, your finest yet! What a bloody ripper of a yarn to the last word! I wish I had written this piece!

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You certainly know how to create a fantasy that thrills the reader. Descriptive and romantic touches, laced with chilly, scary and alarming Dread. What a brilliant combination! I can always count on you to necessitate reading at least twice as I wonder where these creative juices come from. Is it a thousand works or two......each different......and very rarely, I assume, about You. How refreshing!! There must be so much more.......I can only imagine.......Barbz

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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634 Views
10 Reviews
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Shelved in 5 Libraries
Added on September 28, 2015
Last Updated on September 28, 2015
Tags: Scandinavian, rocks, Brynjar, afterglow

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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