Three Sister Ballads

David Gosselin, author of the three sister ballads feature here composed an accompanying essay showcasing his philosophy of poetry, creativity and the importance of rediscovering classical principles of artistic composition in our modern age which can be read here.

The Sea

Restless—I awaken—
As the city stirs,
Street lights flicker like stars,
And the sea whispers.

Languid ocean vessels
Reach the quiet shores
Of exotic islands
And the sea whispers.

Like a sailor’s prayers
Or an ancient dirge,
Which the graying waves hum,
As the sea-storms surge.

Through the darkling grottoes
And cavern waters 
Lie the countless demesnes
Where the sea whispers.

Like some magic seashell
On an antique shore
Echoing so softly
Its forgotten lore.

Over golden beaches,
Brilliant ocean pearls
And ships long forgotten,
Her dark current whirls.

Like a forlorn Naiad
Who weeps and shivers
In her hallowed grottoes
And sacred rivers.

Hoping for love’s tidings,
Her quiet vespers,
Over writhing torrents,
She softly whispers.

Like a majestic swan
With its broken wings,
Whose delicate soul flies
As the night tide sings.

So my dreaming spirit
Quietly slumbers
As the clouds veil the moon
And the sea whispers.

Darkened Mazes

Dear friend of the shadows,
Share your hidden graces,
And softly sing
From the darkened mazes.

Dear friend of the shadows,
Share your magic graces,
And sing for me
From the darkened mazes.

Many lonely evenings
Were spent lost in a haze,
But no song rang
From meadows or verdant ways.

Maidens sang their sweet songs
In the luscious green glade,
But my soul stole
Where both sun and moon fade.

At night I often hear
The sound of lonely fays
Gently sighing,
From the darkened mazes.

Soon I forget the world,
Like the sad nightingale
Who softly sings
From the darkened mazes.

The soul’s roaming ceases
Like a pilgrim gazing
On the pale moon
From the darkened mazes.

Like a nightingale’s voice
Under bright stars’ gazes,
As it takes flight
From the darkened mazes.

My soul forgets the world
As the moon’s clairvoyance
Casts its bright veil
On the day’s annoyance.

Then like the nightingale’s song
—With its magic graces—
Sweet music streams
From the darkened mazes.

Why Should We Weep

Should we mortals weep
Knowing each life flies,
Enduring no longer
Than an angel’s sighs.

Should we mortals weep 
For a lover’s voice,
Long ago vanquished
By fate’s fickle choice.                             

Should we mortals weep
As each spring blossom
Wafts its sweet fragrance,
Then falls to its doom.

Should we mortals weep
Knowing that the sage,
Like a purloined breath,                               
Has flown from his cage.                                     

Should we all then weep,
Fighting to withhold                         
Tear drops which would stain
A cheek once so bold.

If love once embraced
Must decay to ash
Or vanish in tears                            
From a maiden’s lash.

Why should mortals weep
If the morning rose
With refulgent tears
Casts away her woes.

If the saddest thoughts
Can like lightning’s flash
Be the phoenixes                                      
Rising from the ash.

If the poet’s pain
Which the muses sing
Is thought on this earth
A beautiful thing.

David Gosselin is a poet, translator, and linguist based in Montreal. He is the founder of The Chained Muse poetry website, which is dedicated to publishing and promoting 21st-century classical poetry.

Feature Image: A Cavern in Moonlight by Joseph Wright of Derby


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