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Lady Amphitrite ©
R. Craig Collins, 2000, 2005/6
- The black pool shimmered in the crashing tide
with reflected beams of whispy moon light
when out of the waves rose a sweet fair soul
'tis Amphitrite, the lovely sea sprite.
- Atargatis' niece, mermaid of the moon
cousin of graceful Aino and Vatea
and heir to Nereus's royal sea
was now back home in her glistening bay.
- The breeze gently tossed her golden hair
her silhouette against the midnight skies
as the mist wrapped about her regal form
two lone tears fell from her long searching eyes
- Her music came soft, as it moved along
the melody chasing away the storm
when out of the blue cerulean sea
emerging upon the sandy beach, a form
- Amongst the debris of his former ship
a survivor of the storm fell ashore
and just as he collapsed on the sand
the tide pulled him back to the sea once more
- Slipping beneath the foam, no fight left within
the seaman fades within the roiling deep
Lady Amphitrite leaps from her perch
from Hades, this man she now vows to keep
- Deeper she glides down, with powerful strokes
closing the gap between her and her goal
At last she finds the sea-humbled sailor
and to the surface they arise, near the shoal
- She held him close, and felt the breath now flow
and finally the sailor stirred to life
his eyes grew wide at the site of this god
who had intervened in his lowly strife
- Bowing his head he cried out "My Lady,
now indebted, the brine was my better
I sought out gifts and food for my daughters
but all was lost, save me, in the weather"
- Her reply was soft, he could scarcely hear
"It is better to save a good father
who can later provide for them again
than to fret over gold in the water"
- "How can I repay this deed you have done
rescuing me for the ones that I love?
How can a simple man repay a god
whom he has also worshipped from above?
- I must admit while I sought for my girls
I also sought out your beauty and grace
and as a mere man I am not worthy
to ere look upon your beautiful face
- I was foolish, to follow your deep path
I followed as you swam gaily below
I did not notice the storm coming up
now ashamed, on your mercy I must go"
- "The fault is mine, in you there is no blame
for I knew of you above on your boat
I wanted to spend time with you alone
and was leading you to a place remote
- I didn't see the storm, until too late
and in truth my birth is not so very grand
while I am at home in the ocean waves
I live and breath just as you in your land"
- "Lady Amphitrite, you are my love
but I can not properly honor thee"
"You honor me with your heart, my sailor
being together is what pleases me"
- Suddenly the sea exploded about
the sand turned to gold, light shown everywhere
The man's image was replace by Poseidon
It was the god of the sea standing there!
- "I am greatly pleased, my Amphitrite
your heart is a pure as I had knew.
Will you join me in rule of sea and land
as my true Queen, within the waves of blue?"
- From that time on, the whole world then did know
of how the sweet sea-nymph Amphitrite
could love and mentor every living thing
and of her hidden love she held for me
Eu desejo que eu fosse de fato o rei do mundo...
Historical Basis for Mermaids
Note: NOT ALL ancient water gods or spiritual personifications took on the form of a mermaid or a merman all of the time.
GREEK mythology tells of 'Amphitrite', the sea-nymph daughter of Nereus who was married to Poseidon, the Greek god of the water realm, who shared rule of the world with Zeus. Water-nymphs can be mistaken for mermaids, as they are beautiful in their appearance and are also musically talented, which mermaids are well known for, be it their singing or playing of a musical instrument.
There are also the Nereids, who were also daughters of Nereus, the Oceanides, who were associated with Ocean, and the Naiads who lived in the fresh waters of the ancient world; while being water creatures, they were all depicted as more human and not the half-fish merpeople.
THE SYRIANS AND THE PHILISTINES were also known to have worshipped a Semitic mermaid moon-goddess. The Syrians called her Atargatis while the Philistines knew her as Derceto. It is not unusual or surprising that this moon-goddess was depicted as a mermaid as the tides ebbed and flowed with the moon then as it does now, and this was incorporated into the god-like personifications that we find in their art and the ancient literature.
POLYNESIAN mythology includes a creator named Vatea who was depicted as half-human form and half-porpoise.
THE BRITISH ISLES too had their fair share of merfolk mythology. The Cornish knew mermaids as Merrymaids; the Irish knew them as Merrows or Muirruhgach and some sources write that they lived on dry land below the sea and had enchanted caps that allowed them to pass through the water without drowning; it is noted that the women were very beautiful.
FINNISH Fairytales include Kalevala, first published in 1835,
with a larger edition being published in 1849; books four and five deal with the story of Aino, a young maiden who joined the water muses to become a mermaid.