All Their Voices

Words and thoughts in devotion to the Divine

For Nehalennia

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Across the oceans,

The traders come,

The ships with their cargoes

Cresting the waves;

Enduring storm and sea,

Wave and woe,

To bear their goods home.

Pottery, cloth, oil, wine—

Making men rich for their labor.

But those voyages are always a risk,

Dependent on the whims of the water

to make their way from foreign shore

to home docks.

 

Thus, o merciful lady,

We offer these stones:

Every time a storm threatens to sink our ship,

We appeal to you, bright one:

Let us live, and afterward,

We rear these votives in your name.

A gift for a gift,

And for our lives, we honor you

Who gave them to us.

A gift for a gift;

You do not need our worship, surely,

For you are a goddess,

And we are but men.

But something about it

Seems to please you anyway,

And so we continue this tradition,

Offering up payment for our lives

Every time you see fit

To return them unto us.

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