A ship upon the open sea,
Crawled slowly through the night,
Silently the massive thing,
Slipped in and out of sight.
Through the eerie black, she sailed,
Dead ahead, her course was set,
Holding steady, without fail,
Forward, forward ... on she crept.
Wind and rain did not affect her,
Fierce storms mattered not at all,
Drifting, shifting fogs caressed her,
And eased her through the sea's pitfalls.

Methodically, majestically,
In solitude she moved,
A vessel steeped in mystery,
Whence her port?  Nobody knew.
Few ships that sailed the seas at night,
Caught her in their watchful eye,
And many sailors with clear sight,
Failed to see her slipping by.
But those that saw her prayed to God,
And quickly called their shipmates,
But she'd dissolved into the fog,
And, alas, they'd come too late.

The story goes ... since time began.
This vessel roamed the open seas,
Searching for pathetic seamen,
That the ocean depths had seized.
Sailors feared to see this ship,
Following in their wake,
A bad omen for their trip,
Making sturdy seamen quake.
They'd cross themselves and shake their fists,
They'd shout aloud, "Don't come for me!
I'm high and dry and still exist!
Look somewhere else on this damned sea!"

Quietly the ship sailed on,
Ignoring pleas and threats,
Seeking till the night was gone,
For those lost souls at ocean depths.
Who assigned this vessel's mission?
Who designed her gruesome plan?
Was she a devil's apparition,
Or a godly plan for man?
A Ship of Death?  A Ship of Souls?
She went by many names,
A hearse?  A curse?  What was her role?
No two meanings were the same.

No man is meant to lie below
The dark, tumultuous seas,
Thus, this ship sails to and fro,
To change men's destinies.
Men relieved, as she disappears,
Their mortality no longer faced,
Now they'll have more days, more years,
They gulp and smirk ... and are shame-faced.
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright March 2004