An Icelander and his grandson
are by the sea one day,
talking as they go along,
telling stories on the way.
“Grandpa,” the boy said earnestly,
“tell me about the fairy maid,
and how she lit her light for you
at Black Rock on Cliff’s Isle, to aid.”
“Ah, yes, my son, I rowed my boat
far out to sea when it was calm,
out to the cleft where there were fish
and earned a blister on each palm.
“Out where the yellow cod swim by,
the halibut slide far below.
It was food waiting to be had,
but soon the wind began to blow.
“The day grew dark. The sky went black.
and rain clouds piled in the sky.
It was a whirlpool of doubt.
I thought that I was going to die.
“I saw a light shine in the dark
and rowed to it with all my might.
The boat was carried on the crests.
Black Rock was darker than the night.
“Yet I could see where Black Rock was.
I saw a light upon the shore.
There was a maiden holding it,
where nobody had been before.
“The torrent failed. The sea grew calm.
I passed the skerries to the bay
and pulled my boat upon the shore,
then sought the light without delay,
“but it was gone. The maiden, too–
the Fairy Maiden of the sea,
who steered me from the raging depths
and bore me through eternity.”
D. Gary Christian
Santa Clara, Utah
June 13, 2007