Dream of a White Ship
A white sail knifes through thirty-foot waves
In the center of the winter storm's wrath.
Ten men had died, taken over the side,
Since the ship had been blown from its path.
Now Captain LeFaut of the ill-fated craft
Commands his crew to stand fast.
For he knows very well they'll be trapped in this hell
If they fail to rescue the mast.
And the Dear Juliet is swept into strange waters,
Passing through the storm's very heart,
And as the winds die the ship comes to lie
In a sea on no navigator's chart,
And in this odd place where the vessel has landed,
A fear grips the hearts of the crew:
That they'll never return, though none voice this concern,
From the place that they'd come to.
The sea there shined the color of gold,
And the sun shared the sky with the moon,
And foreign beaches beamed bright white,
Glittering like diamond strung dunes.
The waters had calmed beneath the craft,
And before long a port was spied.
So the Dear Juliet set to harbor at last,
To mourn those men who had died.
Lefaut and his crew beheld this new land
Which the storm had borne them to.
It was the city Than, the first known by man,
And visitors there were few.
Its towering spires were brushed by clouds,
And its streets were paved in jade.
For this was the city of wonders and myths,
Where legends and dreams were made.
And from the people there they heard many tales,
A thousand if not more.
They heard tales of heroes, monsters and scoundrels,
And princes raised up from the poor.
Lefaut was told, in perfect detail,
Of Troy's fall from a wooden horse,
And of the lonely Grendel's desires,
Cut off by the swords of the Norse.
He also learned of the city of cats,
Where the shifting sands had blown,
And of the murdered Caliph?s son,
Whose forty thieves reclaimed his throne.
Then he was told of an isle to the north,
Sona-Nyl, the most blessed land.
Which rested beneath a crystal arch,
On a bed of silver sand.
So the crew set out for Sona-Nyl,
And their voyage was calm all told.
Neither a foul wind rose nor a single rain fell
As they sailed that sea of gold,
And soon they passed through the crystal arch,
Reaching that mythical place,
And each would swear that never before
Had a land been so touched by god's grace.
For in Sona-Nyl, death was unknown,
Famine and war had no hold.
And in that place time stood still,
So that none grew sick nor old.
There they stayed for many a year
In pastures and fields of green,
Sleeping on beds of the softest flowers
And drinking from violet streams.
With each vista crested by the crew
A new world of wonder was found.
In one place, leaves blew like musical chimes.
In another, soft silk was the ground.
The natives there knew only of love,
And they opened their homes to the men,
Healing their hearts and lifting their souls,
Absolving each of his sin.
From these people Lefaut then learned
Of Cathur, the land of the west.
Which no man had seen, even in dream,
And in his heart there stirred unrest.
Each brave step that his crew had taken
Had led to a more wondrous land,
And so he resolved that again they would sail
'Til they slept on Cathur's sand
So he gathered his crew to sail once again,
And they set out the very next day.
On the golden sea they drifted west,
Away from the land of the Fey.
For two full months they held their course,
'Til they reached the Wall of Mist
And each man felt its cold embrace
As their skin it lightly kissed.
Lefaut then spied through the fog's dark heart
The basalt cliffs of Cathur,
And each man bade him turn back then
From the fear the mist had abjured,
And between the cliffs rose a deafening roar
The water 'neath the ship now was black
And flowed furiously forward pulling them on,
And they new they could never turn back.
And Lefaut looked on as the ocean gave way,
Falling from the edge of the earth
Into the blank white void of oblivion,
From which nothingness knew its birth.
As they slipped from the world Lefaut and his men
Knew what it was that they faced.
They screamed as one as all ceased to be,
And from the mind of the world were erased.