Saturday, 7 February 2015

The mystery of Mary Celeste 1872

A merchant brigantine,
Sailing all alone is seen,
Those aboard a passing vessel note she's *yawing.
So they go and take a look.
There's no first mate. There's no cook.
There is nobody at all - not reassuring.

Her cargo seems intact -
With alcohol she's packed -
There's sufficient food to see the journey through.
The ship's condition's fine.
Of a struggle there's no sign.
So what's happened to her passengers and crew?

Have they sailed off? Have they jumped?
This has all the experts stumped,
And no one has been able to explain.
It seems - a cause for worry -
They departed in a hurry.
And none of them was ever seen again.

Possessions left behind
Mean investigators find
It unlikely pirates went on board to plunder.
Had alcoholic fumes,
Pervaded "Mary's" rooms?
Empty barrels give inquirers cause to wonder.

For our vessel, what comes next?
It seems she might be hexed.
In an accident, her owner's father drowned.
Yet another life she's claimed.
The famous ghost ship's blamed.
She's sold, as bad luck follows her around.

She changed hands plenty more.
Her condition now was poor.
The last to own her did a thing he shouldn't.
Worthless cargo he insured,
(His objective's being fraud)
Then tried very hard to sink her, but she wouldn't.

In a courtroom he appeared,
And of barratry was cleared,
He is guilty but the jury won't convict.
The verdict had arisen -
He faced death instead of prison -
As the penalty was thought unduly strict.


*twisting or oscillating about the vertical axis of
  a moving ship (or aircraft)


Ⓒ Maggie Ballinger 2015


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