The White Ship
This is an Anglish The White Ship by H. P. Lovecraft. This reading is made of only Old English-sprung words, other than things that Old English did not have words for, such as basalt, and any words with unknown backgrounds. by Wordwork.of
I am Basil Elton, keeper of the Northlight that my father and kept before me. Far from the shore stands the grey lighthouse, above sunken slimy that are seen when the tide is low, but unseen when the tide is high. that beacon for a have swept the of the seven seas. In the days of my there were many; in the days of my father not so many; and now there are so few that I sometimes feel alone, as though I were the last man on our .
From far shores came those white-sailedof old; from far Eastern shores where warm suns shine and sweet linger about and . The old of the sea came often to my and told him of these things, which in he told to my father, and my father told to me in the long evenings when the wind howled eerily from the East. And I have read more of these things, and of many things besides, in the books men gave me when I was young and filled with wonder.
But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is thelore of . Blue, green, grey, white, or black; smooth, ruffled, or ; that is not . All my days have I watched it and listened to it, and I know it well. At first it told to me only the little tales of calm beaches and near , but with the years it grew more friendly and spoke of other things; of things more and more in and in time. Sometimes at twilight the grey of the have to me glimpses of the ways beyond; and sometimes at night the deep waters of the sea have grown and , to me glimpses of the ways beneath. And these glimpses have been as often of the ways that were and the ways that might be, as of the ways that are; for is more than the , and with the and the dreams of Time.
Out of the South it was that the White Shipcome when the moon was full and high in the heavens. Out of the South it would glide smoothly and over the sea. And whether the sea was rough or calm, and whether the wind was friendly or , it would always glide smoothly and , its sails and its long of oars . One night I upon the a man, bearded and , and he seemed to beckon me to for fair unknown shores. Many times afterward I saw him under the full moon, and ever did he beckon me.
brightly did the moon shine on the night I answered the , and I walked out over the waters to the White Ship on a bridge of moonbeams. The man who had beckoned now spoke a welcome to me in a soft I seemed to know well, and the were filled with soft songs of the oarsmen as we glided away into a South, golden with the glow of that full, mellow moon.
And when the day dawned, rosy and, I beheld the green shore of far lands, bright and , and to me unknown. Up from the sea rose lordly of , tree-studded, and shewing here and there the gleaming white roofs and of . As we drew nearer the green shore the bearded man told me of that land, the Land of Zar, where dwell all the dreams and thoughts of that come to men once and then are forgotten. And when I looked upon the I saw that what he said was true, for among the sights before me were many things I had once seen through the mists beyond the and in the depths of . There too were and more than any I had ever known; the of young who in before the world could learn of what they had seen and dreamed. But we did not set foot upon the sloping meadows of Zar, for it is told that he who treads them may nevermore to his shore.
As the White Ship sailedaway from the of Zar, we beheld on the ahead the spires of a mighty ; and the bearded man said to me: “This is Thalarion, the of a Thousand Wonders, wherein reside all those that man has to fathom.” And I looked , at , and saw that the was greater than any I had known or dreamed of before. Into the the spires of its reached, so that no man might behold their ; and far back beyond the stretched the grim, grey walls, over which one might only a few roofs, weird and , yet with rich and . I yearned mightily to this yet , and besought the bearded man to land me at the stone by the carven gate Akariel; but he my wish, saying: “Into Thalarion, the of a Thousand Wonders, many have but none . Therein walk only and mad things that are no longer men, and the streets are white with the unburied bones of those who have looked upon the Lathi, that over the .” So the White Ship sailed on the walls of Thalarion, and followed for many days a southward-flying bird, whose matched the out of which it had .
Then came we to awith blossoms of every hue, where as far inland as we could see basked lovely groves and beneath a sun. From bowers beyond our came bursts of song and snatches of , with laughter so that I the rowers onward in my to reach the . And the bearded man spoke no word, but watched me as we the lily- shore. a wind blowing from over the meadows and leafy woods brought a at which I . The wind grew stronger, and the was filled with the , of -stricken towns and . And as we sailed madly away from that the bearded man spoke at last, saying: “This is Xura, the Land of .”
So once more the White Ship followed the bird of heaven, over warm blessed seas fanned by, breezes. Day after day and night after night did we sail, and when the moon was full we would listen to soft songs of the oarsmen, sweet as on that night when we sailed away from my far . And it was by moonlight that we at last in the harbour of Sona-Nyl, which is by twin headlands of that rise from the sea and meet in a . This is the Land of , and we walked to the shore upon a golden bridge of moonbeams.
In the Land of Sona-Nyl there is neither time nor, neither suffering nor death; and there I dwelt for many . Green are the groves and , bright and the , blue and the streams, and cool the , and and the , , and of Sona-Nyl. Of that land there is no bound, for beyond each of rises another more . Over the and amidst the of rove at will the folk, of whom all are gifted with unmarred and . For the that I dwelt there I wandered blissfully through where peep from of bushes, and where the white walks are with blossoms. I climbed hills from whose I could see of loveliness, with steepled towns nestling in , and with the golden of glittering on the . And I by moonlight the sparkling sea, the headlands, and the harbour wherein lay the White Ship.
It wasthe full moon one night in the year of Tharp that I saw outlined the beckoning of the bird, and felt the first stirrings of unrest. Then I spoke with the bearded man, and told him of my new yearnings to for Cathuria, which no man hath seen, but which all believe to lie beyond the basalt of the West. It is the Land of Hope, and in it shine the of all that we know elsewhere; or at least so men . But the bearded man said to me: “Beware of those seas wherein men say Cathuria lies. In Sona-Nyl there is no nor death, but who can tell what lies beyond the basalt of the West?” Natheless at the next full moon I boarded the White Ship, and with the bearded man left the harbour for seas.
And the bird of heaven flew before, and led us toward the basaltof the West, but this time the oarsmen sang no soft songs under the full moon. In my mind I would often the unknown Land of Cathuria with its groves and , and would wonder what new there me. “Cathuria,” I would say to myself, “is the abode of gods and the land of of gold. Its are of aloe and sandalwood, even as the groves of Camorin, and among the trees flutter birds sweet with song. On the green and of Cathuria stand of , rich with carven and , and having in their cool of silver, where purl with the waters that come from the -born Narg. And the of Cathuria are with golden walls, and their also are of gold. In the of these are , and lakes whose beds are of coral and . At night the streets and the are lit with from the three- shell of the , and here the soft of the singer and the . And the houses of the of Cathuria are all , each built over a bearing the waters of the Narg. Of and porphyry are the houses, and roofed with glittering gold that the of the sun and the of the as blissful gods them from the . Fairest of all is the of the great Dorieb, whom some say to be a and others a god. High is the of Dorieb, and many are the of upon its walls. In its wide halls many , and here hang the of the . And the roof is of gold, set upon tall of ruby and azure, and having such carven of gods and that he who looks up to those heights seems to upon the living Olympus. And the floor of the is of glass, under which flow the cunningly lighted waters of the Narg, with fish not known beyond the bounds of lovely Cathuria.”
Thus would I speak to myself of Cathuria, but ever would the bearded man warn me toback to the shores of Sona-Nyl; for Sona-Nyl is known of men, while none hath ever beheld Cathuria.
And on the thirty-first day that we followed the bird, we beheld the basaltof the West. Shrouded in mist they were, so that no man might beyond them or see their — which indeed some say reach even to the heavens. And the bearded man me to back, but I heeded him not; for from the mists beyond the basalt I there came the of singer and ; sweeter than the sweetest songs of Sona-Nyl, and mine own ; the of me, who had far under the full moon and dwelt in the Land of .
So to theof the White Ship sailed into the mist betwixt the basalt of the West. And when the and the mist lifted, we beheld not the Land of Cathuria, but a swift- sea, over which our helpless was borne toward some unknown goal. Soon to our ears came the thunder of falling waters, and to our eyes on the far ahead the spray of a , wherein the of the world drop down to nothingness. Then did the bearded man say to me with tears on his cheek: “We have the Land of Sona-Nyl, which we may never behold again. The gods are greater than men, and they have .” And I my eyes before the crash that I knew would come, shutting out the sight of the bird which flapped its blue wings over the of the .
Out of that crash came darkness, and I heard theof men and of things which were not men. From the East winds arose, and chilled me as I on the of stone which had risen beneath my feet. Then as I heard another crash I opened my eyes and beheld myself upon the of that lighthouse from whence I had sailed so many ago. In the darkness below there loomed the blurred of a breaking up on the , and as I out over the I saw that the light had for the first time since my had its care.
And in the later watches of the night, when I went within the tower, I saw on the wall awhich still as when I had left it at the I sailed away. With the dawn I the tower and looked for upon the , but what I found was only this: dead bird whose hue was as of the , and a shattered , of a whiteness greater than that of the wave-tips or of the snow.
And thereafter thetold me its no more; and though many times since has the moon shone full and high in the heavens, the White Ship from the South came never .