A MINER'S RETURN HOME
A miner walked from Wheal Kitty
to Trevellas at the end of a day
and the path he took was atop the cliff
for that was his easiest way.
The moon rode high oe'r the breakers
as the path did twist and turn
and the Gods of the deep were lurking there
with nothing new to learn.
Fourteen hours at fifty fathoms
had taken the breath from him
and the night was quiet but his heart beat loud
on the clifftop's ancient rim.
A ship came round from Cligga Point
the rigging spiked with light
and he crossed his heart for such was the way
to redeem a sailor's plight.
Its distant lantern sparked and swung
for why he could not say;
an urgent sign it seemed to be
then its bearer moved away.
With weary tread the miner went
his body racked with cold,
with a mile yet ahead of him
and a story to be told
for soon he saw a maiden walking
some distance up ahead
half turning to watch the ghostly ship
then she heard his tread.
The moon it cast their shapes against
the backdrop of the sky
and soon he reached her where she stood
and heard a lullaby.
So delicate and sweet was that eerie voice
that he stood and met her gaze
she smiled and held her arms apart
as he went into a daze.
Entranced, he pressed up close to her
while the moon absolved the sight;
she drew him to her bosom
and her eyes were very bright.
As her lips brushed by his ear
she spoke a gaelic tongue
with a distant echo of flaming hills
though she was very young.
Then drawing back her willing face
she pointed to the ship;
no trace of it could now be seen,
his heart began to slip
and when he turned to look at her
the face had turned to green
the breath of her was like the sea
her hair in knots obscene.
Though the miner trod the darkened ways
in labyrinths of tin,
this apparition was a test of strength
he knew he couldn't win.
He hurried from that awful place
not caring to look back
until he reached Trevellas
down that fateful miners' track.