Caroline called from the balcony
To join her and check out the bay,
‘You wouldn’t believe, there’s a barquentine,
You never see them today.’
I looked and I scanned the horizon there
But all I could see was the pier,
There wasn’t a sign of a barquentine
And all the horizon was clear.
‘I can see nothing,’ I told her then,
‘The sea is as calm as a pond,’
‘I’ll give you a hint, just make your eyes squint,
Then look to the pier and beyond.’
And suddenly there was a shadow shape,
That looked like a barquentine,
But out where it lay, it was old and grey,
And something about it obscene.
‘It makes me uneasy,’ I said to her,
‘There’s something transparent and cold,’
‘I think it’s romantic,’ was her reply,
‘It must be two hundred years old.’
It gave me the shivers, I went inside,
As rain pelted in at our door,
Though Caroline wouldn’t come in, but sighed,
And stayed where she’d stood before.
That night I woke up in the early hours
To find she had gone from our bed,
I followed her footsteps down to the pier
And saw her just walking ahead.
But Caroline wasn’t alone out there
She walked with a man I could see,
And holding his hand, she kissed him, and,
Was as transparent as he.
Then back in the cottage I found her there,
All restless, and tumbled in bed,
She suddenly woke, and gasped as she spoke,
‘I’ve had a strange dream in my head.
I’d been making love in that barquentine
To someone that I never knew,
He said we should go, but I told him ‘No’,
And then I came looking for you.'
We got up at dawn as the sun came up,
Walked out to the balcony,
We squinted our eyes, but to our surprise,
All we could see was the sea.
There wasn’t a sign of that barquentine
But only an empty pier,
And Caroline sighed, stood at my side,
‘Some things are much more than queer.’
David Lewis Paget