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The Would-Be Mariner by Zdenka

Author: Zdenka
Title: The Would-Be Mariner
Rating: G
Theme: “Laugh!” (humorous poetry)
Elements: precarious/vicarious
Author's Notes: Written in the meter of “Eärendil was a mariner” from The Fellowship of the Ring (with a certain amount of affectionate parody). I imagine this as the sort of story that was told in the Shire to discourage hobbits from seeking Adventures.
Summary: A young hobbit attempts to go to sea, with unfortunate results.
Word Count: 213

The Would-Be Mariner

Young Perry was a hobbit lad who always had a clever wit;
his friends and family thought him odd – it did not bother him a bit.
Of all he read, he loved the tales of white ships sailing on the sea,
and long he dreamed beside the stream in thinking what a “wave” might be.

At last one night he slipped away; to havens grey he came at last
and saw a ship at anchor ride upon the tide that softly splashed.
While all the sailors soundly slept, aboard he crept and hid himself—
Could not a hobbit do as well upon the swell as Man or Elf?

But once the ship had left the dock, its rocking brought alarm to him;
the Men who seized him were displeased and even threatened harm to him.
The sailors eyed him with dark looks and cried “Blast and bebother him!”
He tried to stay out of the way, but still they often trod on him.

With wind and waves both soon and late, he found his state precarious;
and, in a word, he much preferred when dangers were vicarious.
The voyage ended, he was free of ships and sea and sails and Men;
so grateful was he to be home, he never roamed abroad again!

havens grey: the Grey Havens or Mithlond (the closest port to the Shire)


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 26th, 2015 06:42 pm (UTC)
Wonderful! I can completely imagine this being recited to young hobbits to discourage Adventures.
Jan. 27th, 2015 11:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much!
Jan. 26th, 2015 08:48 pm (UTC)
This is a teaching rhyme to teach young Hobbits that it's better to stay home than to wander far away. Love it - very clever!

- Erulisse (one L)
Jan. 27th, 2015 11:35 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's what I meant! I'm glad you liked it.
Jan. 26th, 2015 11:11 pm (UTC)
Well done!
The opposite of Bilbo's journey, in a way...
I especially sympathized (with both parties!) at "still they often trod on him"!
Jan. 27th, 2015 11:38 pm (UTC)

Yes -- the hobbits Tolkien shows us who travel outside the Shire return changed and broadened by their experiences, but the in-universe author of the poem wouldn't want to acknowledge that possibility.

That line may have been inspired by the number of times I have almost tripped over my housemate's cats . . .
Jan. 26th, 2015 11:18 pm (UTC)
I just LOVE this! It really has the charming feel of "Earendil was a Mariner" and "Errantry".

At last one night he slipped away; to havens grey he came at last
and saw a ship at anchor ride upon the tide that softly splashed.

Such a lovely couplet! Not only the internal rhyme, but also the nice alliteration as well.
Jan. 27th, 2015 11:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm very glad you liked it!
Jan. 27th, 2015 04:27 am (UTC)
Very nice! Your meter is always impeccable (I'm a sucker for well-done metered verse).
Jan. 27th, 2015 11:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Somehow, Tolkien makes it look easy . . .
Jan. 27th, 2015 05:56 am (UTC)
Just delightful!
Jan. 27th, 2015 11:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it.
Jan. 29th, 2015 12:56 am (UTC)
Poor Perry! Hobbits really don't make good mariners. But he was plucky to try.
Jan. 29th, 2015 02:13 am (UTC)
Indeed, it didn't quite work out as he hoped!
Jan. 31st, 2015 02:18 am (UTC)
This is adorable! Poor Perry! I especially love the rhythms of the last verse.
Jan. 31st, 2015 03:15 am (UTC)
Thank you! This rhyme scheme is not as easy as Tolkien makes it look. :)
Feb. 16th, 2015 08:20 am (UTC)
That is so well done!! :) It was funny and had great rhythm. I greatly admire those who can write poetry.
Feb. 16th, 2015 08:30 am (UTC)
Thank you very much! I'm glad you liked it.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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