The Isle of Elinora Lee,
Was just off the Northern coast,
A cloud enshrouded spot of land,
Hardly visible to most.
It disappeared and reappeared,
According to the tides,
In storms, it was phenomenal,
It seemed to sink, then  rise.
A barren mountain island,
With craggy peaks of weathered stone,
Scant amounts of vegetation,
Gnarled, twisted trees, wind blown.
Pathetic, shrieking, screeching cries,
And sad wails of forlorn birds,
Storm-tossed, off course, completely lost,
Their plaintive calls unheard.
Tall sheer-like cliffs straight to the sea,
Offering no safe landing place,
A tiny mark on ocean charts,
Where ships vanished with no trace.
Shipwreck after shipwreck
Piled up against its rocky shore,
Then washed away by angry waves,
All gone and seen no more.
But, if by some odd twist of fate,
A lone sailor should survive
His broken, sunken vessel,
He might wish that he had died.
For had he made it to that island,
And to that mountain top,
'Twas just a question then of when
He would starve or be washed off.
The legends of this island
Were passed down from year to year,
Most grew and were embellished,
But all ended with sad tears.
Probably the most poignant tale
Was how the island got its name,
How Elinora Lee
Became a name of some acclaim.
Miss Elinora Lee, herself,
Was a winsome lass of grace,
Who lived in a little coastal town
That overlooked the place.
On clear days, she could see the island,
But when thick fogs drifted in,
It vanished right before her eyes,
She could not tell where it had been.
But she was young and dancing then,
She gave it little thought,
So desolate and bare it was,
It seemed like God himself forgot.
Elinora Lee grew lovelier,
And she blossomed over time,
She broke many young men's hearts
Who were romantically inclined,
Then one day she fell in love,
With a lad who sailed the seas,
With all his heart, he loved her, too,
He loved his Elinora Lee.
The story goes, when homeward bound,
From a lengthy fishing trip,
A storm arose along the coast
That sank the sailor's ship.
He somehow made it to the island,
And to that mountain top,
And Elinora, in the night
Thought she heard him calling out.
In haste, she took her father's skiff,
And at midnight she set sail,
She headed for the island,
In the middle of a gale.
Legends say she made it
Through the rough and tossing seas,
But the next day on the mainland shore,
Folks found the skiff's debris.
The calling started that first night,
When midnight rolled around,
People claimed that they heard voices,
And from the island came the sound.
"Not human," said a few,
"That's the wailing of the birds,"
"No, you're wrong," said the believers,
"That's a cry for help we've heard."
So shortly search parties formed,
And sailed out to the isle,
But no trace of man or girl was found,
And not one bird within a mile.
But, still the cries persisted,
Starting midnight, every night,
And off and on, they wafted in,
Until the morning light.
"Elinor-rr-ra - Elinor-rr-ra,
Oh, Elinor-rr-ra Lee,"
 Words faintly floating to the mainland
Across that narrow stretch of sea.
And to this day, those sounds are heard,
Down through the years, those cries,
He calls for Elinora Lee,
And she sighs in sad reply.
And this unrequited love,
On an island in the sea,
Resulted in the island's name,
Of Elinora Lee,
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright 2002

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