Hour 20 – Mermaids


From the line by T. S. Elliot in The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

I do not think that they will sing to me,
these creatures of desire and love.
Songs of the deep are meant for other ears
in other lands, or in times gone by.
Though, and here’s the vexation,
I still wish to hear the melody, old as I am.
And so, I walk the beaches
at the turning of the day
when misty spray makes distant rocks unclear.
I fancy I see the flip of a tail,
the long hair shining on fish’s scales,
the outline of an upturned breast.
And, listening hard, I seek to tease out notes
from the washing of the waves on shore.
But, no. There is no song there.
Just a silly old man in rolled trousers,
alone, always alone, on the sand.

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