Rime of the Ancient Mariner: The Prequel

A mariner, a salty gent,
Accosted me one noon,
His breath quite flammable from rum,
His eyes awash in rheum.

Oh, sir, quoth he, please let me now
Acquaint you with my tale.
'Tis sad and eerie, yet it goes
Down well with pints of ale.

His gnarled hand picked at my cloak
To slow my rapid walk.
I hurried on. He trailed me,
Insisting that we talk

About some silly albatross,
And water everywhere
(Though none of it was potable),
The sun's insistent glare,

The curse that fell on his dread head
For blasting bird to death.
Eftsoons I turned to him and spoke;
He paused to catch his breath.

I'm not the one to hear your tale,
Dear Sailor—I won't do.
You're 'spose to stoppeth one of three,
And I'm just number two.

He sighed and his once-glitt'ring eye
Quite suddenly grew dim,
But then he spied a wedding guest
And set off after him.

Survivor Poetry Contest
Form T (Ballad)

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