Ballad of the Pilgrim, the Lady and the Sailor

Updated: Jul 13, 2020

copyright 2019

On a day in the year of 1604

in a tavern once known as The Bark

A man walked in through its salt wood door

and sat down in the corner that was dark

Half an hour later as he sipped on an ale

while clouds made the sky turn grim

A lady and a sailor stepped in from the gale

and sat down on either side of him

“What is your name,” the Lady inquired

of the man with the Galilee cross

“Pilgrim will do,” his answer seemed tired

“State your business or be it your loss”

“I will,” came the words from under her hood

while the sailor gave never a murmur

“I have a crew and a ship that will float

I’m in need of a captain to sail her”

“Not me,” his reply quickly came free

his knuckles pressed white on the table

“The last time I took a vessel to sea

I wished I had never been able”

“For on my return being to my love bound

with hope in my heart that we’d wed

I learned on the wharf that my lover had drowned

and lay somewhere on the seabed”

Only the sailor began to shift slowly

while the Lady just gazed into space

“What was her name?” she mumbled just barely

not daring to look at his face

“I called her my Lady,” replied the sad Pilgrim

as outside the waves they did heave

“That is what I was called by him,”

she said warily touching his sleeve

He lifted his head as a ship does her bow

until the whites of his eyes came to life

Then he suddenly parted the curls on her brow

saying, “You were sworn as my wife”

But just then the thunder burst open the sky

as the ocean burst open the quay

And the waves were almost twenty high

pounding down on The Bark and the three

Only one appeared next morn on the shore

it was the sailor still searching the rubble

But the bodies for burial were there no more

because the ocean had saved him the trouble

He cried and prayed and then he set sail

entering Dublin town by boat

Where later in an inn he told me this tale

and for you these words I wrote

But before I end, the tales incomplete

though Pilgrim and Lady lived love’s strife

Since the sailor’s last words were I’ll repeat

“The Lady who died was my wife”

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