Sunken sonnets

I’ve heard a couple of versions of this poem since I was a child, and am glad to have found a version of it online to read to my own children. These are my favorite stanzas, in which the boat – the Apistos – meets its watery grave:

Elizabeth Astell, The Wrack of the Apistos, c. 1775

Lo though these riches glister bright
They shall not reach the shore
Sere though the years I gathered them
I covet them no more
Yea take this gold, these carvèd maids
And here this lion dread
With serpent mane and stony eye
And adamantine head
Let oceans reclaim shells and pearls
And nymphs with brilliants play
Gladly would I forfeit them
To live another day
There answ’reth none, the swells they run
Yet higher than the mast
The welkin splits with ire and fire
The wind shrieks like a daemon quire
Apistos cannot last
And thus lie I in wat’ry grave
Denied all exequies
Who kingly lived but died enslaved
To rank avidities
Around me all the treasures fair
That Mithras should have praised
Shew rev’rence ’stead to scal’d creatures
And glimpse no more his rays
And Asit Mayor ne’er shall grace
Entombed in lapis sea
What once bespoke a vaunting pride
Tokens humility


Read the whole The Wrack of the Apistos here.

#apistos #poetry #shipwreck #mystery


Adventure Setting Boot Shipwreck Ship Mysticism




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