The Crime of the Ancient Mariner

Apologies to Coleridge

It is an ancient Mariner,

And he stoppeth one of three,

“By thy black beard and quizzical eye,

Now, why hast thou stopped me?”

The ‘Blue Anchor’s’ doors are opened wide, 

And I am wont to cross in,

Two pints of middle, to hear the craic,

To make a merry din.

He stops me with a hairy hand,

‘There was a sail !’, quoth he,

‘I have a tale, and with a jug, 

I’m sure to share with ‘ee’!

Time holds with both its hands,

I stood, in truth, at ease,

And bade ‘ark to the grizzly tale,

With a jug of Spingo, please! 

We chose the blackened hearth to sit,

Two frothy ales at ready,

And thus spake on the ancient tongue

His drink hand keeping steady.

“twas a dark and stormy night,

of course it was!” quoth he,

“for a mariner’s fable such as this,

requires a stormy sea.”

“Old Falmouth town bid farewell,

Its ladies ever sorrow,

At the leaving of the old sea dog

In the shadow of the ‘morrow”.

For truth, it was that maidens fair,

For him, their love heart flickers,

For often times, he’d found safe port

In the harbour of their knickers.

Of maidens, there were not few, 

nor maidens’ virtues spared.

A song he’d sing in reverie to each,

A love he’d long declared.

“Madam, I’ll be oft away, 

To sea born fortune hunt! 

Upon return I’ll seek you out, 

You’ve such a pretty…”

The sail was cheered, the harbour cleared,

Beyond the lighthouse top,

Beneath the sky and white topped clouds

ne’er fair bound breezes stop.

The sun came up upon the left, 

Out of the sea came he! 

And he shone bright, and on the right

Went down into the sea.

Upon the prow, the dolphins splashed

The sea turned black with fish,

Mackerel shimmered in the light,

But better in the dish. 

Bigger ships and smaller minds 

Sail upon the ocean wave 

Delivering the fruit of global graft

The wealth of men to save.

Land locked folk and sea born ship

Upon the oceans sit,

Yet daily and without a thought

It’s where we dump our shit.  

These thoughts were never all that far,

As noise in head would hum, 

But recompense comes in all shapes,

As ‘baccy, maids and rum.

“South and West, the going good, 

The mast saw many noons,

And in the blackest starlight nights 

The mast saw many moons.” 

“The wind was fair, the sea was good,

For cares, I had not a jot,

Yet, upon the flying jib on high

A shadow cast a blot.”

“My crew was of one other man,

Of ego bigger than the sea,

Of all the rules of sailing fair, he thought

“they don’t apply to me”. 

“We passed Azores, and I avowed, 

In suffering I’m sure of that,

And at the first safe anchor’s port,

I’ll rid me of that twat”.

“Sailing single, all alone

Is heaven, I’ll not quibble,

I’d rather have my anus poked 

Than listen to his drivel.”

Just then a pretty Helston maid, into the bar did tread,

And spake with voice so fair, the mariner’s heart stopped dead, 

“Go on ! “ Says I  “go on good sir, to tell your your tale so bold”

”Aye” quoth he, his eyes aflame with mem’ries of conquests old. 

Then misty eye’d, his compass points now forever south, 

When once the magnets quivered, at a pretty red lipped mouth. 

“Oh, aye, we sailed at dawn, 

We sailed at noon and night,

No islands did we see, 

No monsters give us fright.”

“Forsooth on trade winds blew,

A shape appeared to follow,

Our every tack, our every gybe,

Saith he, “s’not a fucking swallow”

“Tiz a bleddy shite hawk man, 

Tiz hungry, tired and scary,

Keep those pasties down below

Of him, we’ll both be wary”. 

“Yet sorrow in my heart I felt,

For the birds long lonely passage,

I coaxed it down and without a frown

I fed it rum and sausage.” 

In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud, 

The shite hawk it did follow,

And every day for food or play,

Came to the mariner’s hollo!

“One night, my crewman full of spunk,

Did think it would be funny,

To feed the unsuspecting bird 

With poisoned toast and honey”

“He laughed and jeered at dead of night

Quothe he, of it, we’ll not dread,

For tonight I have saved us all, 

I killed the gull stone dead!”

Part 2

“Safe in a tropic bay, with sunshine at my back,

At anchor we did softly sway,

With a belly full of pork and rum 

I thought I’d have my say”.

“And to his dumbstruck face said I,

Birds are harbingers of luck,

It does no good to kill them all,

So off, this boat, please fuck”.

“Alone at last, I put the past, 

And in my mind a message:

I’ll find a port, and all for sport 

I’ll kiss a heaving cleavage.”

Forsooth and in sunny Bay

The rum and samba flowed, 

I found a bar, a guiding star, 

And treasure there was stowed”

“Her name was Margarita, 

From heaven she was sent,

She jumped my bones and sucked me dry

Of everything I spent.”

“Day after day, night after night,

No work for me, nor breath nor motion, 

I lay as idle as a painted ship 

Upon a painted ocean.”

“She worked her nimble fingers fair, 

She worked her bosoms fairer,

No main main mast of a fighting ship 

Matched mine for being harder”

“Days went by and so the weeks,

And never did I shrink,

Water, water everywhere

But Rum, it was to drink”

 “Yet God in heaven will not be mocked

He knows all and sees

Those who for herring gull care

And those who him displease” 

“I was not that man, it was not me

Who fed the bird the honey,

God did not care, so to me he said,

“Give to me the money”

“God works in mysterious ways, 

His orders to perform, 

He called upon that dark haired maid

To avenge the avian crime”

‘Ah, well a day, what evil comes

Had I from one so young, 

Instead of the cross, An Albatross

About my neck was hung”

“The bird of which I now I do speak, 

Does not the oceans fly

It comes in form of dark betrayal

It comes in form of lie”

Stunned at that soft and dreadful word

At this, the Cornish bar did creak. 

‘Go on’ saith I, ‘I have not yet heard’’

Your tale of woe, so speak!’

But t’was not doing while Spingo glass lay bare

So I ordered another two and then another two to spare. 

“It was a dark and stormy night again,

It always is I swear, 

Early home I came one night 

And saw her buttocks bare”

“Her back to me, her buttocks rose 

Rhythmically and true

Upon the main mast of a man-o-war

Whose cannon roared, I knew”

“Her boat came closer to his ship,

But I nor spake nor stirred, 

Her boat came close atop his ship,

And I her throaty love voice heard.”

“Stunned by that loud and dreadful sound,

Which sky and ocean smote, 

Like one that has seven days drowned,

My body lay afloat,

But swift dreams, myself I found 

Within another boat”

“I vowed that day to sail away, 

To lands where no man stands

To watch a maiden dark give quite so readily  

To another bastard’s hands”.

“And yet, and yet, it is the world

That gives as it doth take, 

“I’ll  find another harbour safe, 

my rum soaked thirst to slake”

“My money’s gone and with it pride, 

And yet my shame will pass, 

But if I catch my crewmate at the ebb

I’ll shove a seagull up his arse”

What loud uproar burst in the door,

The Spingo drinkers gather,

In the snug, and in the garden

A wedding party linger,

And hark the the little church bell 

Which biddeth us to prayer.

“Fuck that, my friend, this soul hath been

Alone on a wide wide sea:

So lonely ’twas that God himself 

Said “fuck you” to me!”

“O sweeter than a marriage feast, 

’Tis sweeter far to me, 

To sit in the Blue Anchor’s bar

With rum and company.”

The mariner’s eyes did glaze, 

A memory it flickers,

There’s a maiden fair in Falmouth town

His mind is in her knickers. 

A fair wind blows and a foul wind too,

Vagaries, chance and its

long established folklore now, 

‘Don’t mix Gold and Tits’.

The mariner, whose eye is bright

Whose beard with age is hoar,

Is gone: And now I look to the bar

And turn towards the door. 

I walked like one that hath been stunned,

And is of sense forlorn,

A sadder and wiser man,

I rose the morrow morn. 

Published by Lance Goodman

Freelance writer, bon vivant and all-round good oeuf.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: