Text: John Lee Payton Seascape Art: Ken Bushe Portrait Art: Michael Clifford Shpack Music: Sora Jederan-Shpack
All is quiet in the bowels of the slaver far at sea
[audio:Eight Bells Clip 1.mp3]
Where it rests upon the bottom leagues and years from you and me.
But there was a time ’round eight bells when the night was windy cold
And the shackled ones were sighing in the darkness of the hold.
The sea was still, the night was calm; no man heard their plea[audio:Eight Bells Clip 2.mp3]
[audio:Eight Bells Clip 3.mp3]
Cupped a guttering candle in one shivering hand so he could see
Something flickering in his heart and eye and making his soul yearn
As he walked the creaking planks of mid-night to and fro from bow to stern.
At seventh bell he felt a shifting wind but naught else did he heed[audio:Eight Bells Clip 4.mp3]
But a tiny portrait of his darling in its gold and silver filigree.
Then came the wraiths around him, and the ship and all its world
So stars’ light seemed torn from Heaven and deep into Hades hurled.
No man heard the eighth bell sing out for the free and slave souls slipped,
[audio:Eight Bells Clip 5a.mp3]