Ocean waves break on the sand

Clashing elements, water to land

Foam upon the golden shore

With seaweed, crabs and rocks and more

Upon the foamy crests with zeal

Come the bright-eyed playful seals

To hit the beach and there with pride

They raise their heads and remove their hides

Till silky skin to sand is shed

And maidens roam the beach instead

And laugh and frolic, sing and play

Merrily dancing the night away

Selkie men are rising too

And fill the beach with voices true

Eerie notes, so sweet and clear

Soothe the silence; displace all fear

They sing of the ocean deeps with pride

Of cool summer waves and wild winter tide

Of perilous rocks by water concealed

Of the beauty and bounty the oceans could yield

They sing of happiness, wild and free

Of bright water blessings and serenity

Until the song of first bird comes clear to the air

And sunlight's caress comes quick to them there


Swiftly they turn, for it's written in lore

That if a human should find a sealskin on shore

Then the Selkie who owned it would be theirs to claim

Forbidden the sea, on land to remain

And though they'd be faithful, their hearts would be closed

Against life on land forever opposed

Forced into marriage, from their home torn apart

Owned in the flesh, but never in heart

They'd be stricken with fever, a need to return

To the bright clear water for which they always shall yearn

But for those without sealskins, the danger was grave

Should they abandon their partners and leap to the waves

For though life is bitter and the sea's call is strong

Without sealskin they're mortal, they won't live for long

And the tumultuous oceans, in anger and strife

Will no longer sustain them, but instead take their life

An ironic ending, of dangerous renown

Those who would seek the ocean would drown

So each Selkie goes at mornings first light

Gathers their skin, puts it on and takes flight

Back to the waves and the roiling white foam

To the startling blue depths of their maritime home

And the beach where they danced is left without sound

And no trace of the Selkies there can be found


Beltane Eve arrived and brought sweet delight

And the Selkies who gathered to dance on that night

Revelled in the beauty of the moon up above

Who pulled at the tides and shined upon them in love

And the sound of their music reverberated round

Spinning melodies that wove bright magic from sound

And one maiden dancing flicked back her tresses

Dark, fine and smooth and inviting caresses

Lovely her figure, like coral her skin

So bright an enchantment, holding great spirit within

She could melt any heart with one flash of her smile

Endear any creature, any human beguile

The loveliest creature that e'er claimed the tides

With deep mystery held in the depths of her eyes

And as her dainty bare feet danced to the tune

Of sweet Selkie melodies beneath the light of the moon

It seemed the winds stirred, as if Earth held her breath

As the Maiden twirled round, graceful and deft

Slim arms held above her, in sweet adoration

To the Mother Who blessed her and gave her Creation

Clear was her voice as it rose to the heights:

"Sweet Mother I give You my love on this night

For as sure as You pull on the tides of the sea

Your light reaches down and pulls upon me!"


Then with cruel abruptness the magic was broken

A twig snapped on the air and the warning was spoken

The Selkies abandoned their festival rites

Rushed for their skins, put them on and took flight

But the maiden, bewildered, caught in the crush

Found that her skin had been misplaced in the rush

With lump in her throat, she sought high and low

For without it, to ocean she could never again go

Tears filled her eyes as she saw with dismay

The man with the skin who was walking her way

She fell to her knees and let out a cry:

"So many are taken, now so too must I!"

The man came up beside her, dropped to the sand

And gently he lifted her chin with his hand

He saw her dark eyes and caught his breath

Captured and held by their mysterious depths

He was caught by her sadness, by her beauty beguiled

So lovely was she, he could not help a smile

With a moment's regret he let go of her chin

And placed in her hands the soft Selkie skin

"Forgive my intrusion, is this what you seek?"

She merely looked on, too dumfounded to speak

"Go on," he said gently, "Return to the tides

The sealskin is yours; I won't claim its prize."


The maiden looked on, too stunned to speak

When gently his hand brushed past her cheek

She felt something within, like her life torn apart

A curious sensation that tugged at her heart

She gasped and stiffened– this feeling was new

And she could see in his eyes that he felt it too

But it ended quickly; abruptly she stood

And ran for the surf as fast as she could

The man stood and watched as the smooth skin concealed

And the maiden transformed swiftly to seal

He raised a hand to wave, then dropped it and sighed

"She is Selkie, she always shall long for the tides

What right have I to claim her, to take her away

From the live she obviously revels in each day?

What right to deny her the life of the sea

And what right to believe she would ever love me?"

He slumped down his shoulders and turned from the scene

Heard the voice, but dismissed it as only a dream

He heard it again, turned but dared no expectation

And he watched her approach with great jubilation

"Thank you," she whispered when she reached his side

And he felt his heart flutter, a strange feeling inside

"Thank you, good sir, for not making the claim

Selkie am I, and Muireann my name."


"Rónan am I," he replied with a smile

That lit his blue eyes and the Maiden beguiled

Reached up, pulled him down and brushed her lips against his

And they were lost to the sensation, enveloped in bliss

A lifetime too soon the pair pulled asunder

As though caught in a spell, they stared in great wonder

At the one they both cherished, their bright counterpart

The one to whom already they had surrendered their hearts

The sun broke the horizon, shed sweet light around

And somewhere a bird made a tentative sound

The wind stirred their hair, waves brushed at their feet

Neither had known a morning so sweet

Rónan smiled and turned and held out his hand

And gently he led the maid through the sand

Away from the coast and into the town

Where surprised they found each face held a frown

"What treachery is this!" they cried, "Nature betrayed!

A man cannot love a Selkie maid!"

The maiden stood stunned amidst the screaming and crying

And screamed when the rocks and stones started flying

Rónan's heart plummeted, her hand had slipped free

And she was running with haste back down to the sea

"Muireann!" he yelled, "By Goddess, please wait!"

And he turned and he ran full speed in her wake.


The sun shone upon her, a false shining light

Tears cascaded, blurring her sight

Her dainty feet pounded over stone and through sand

And she knew in her heart they'd not understand

No Selkie beneath sea or human above

Would bless their union or condone their love

Selkies were taken, but they never went freely

They'd not let it happen, though she wanted it dearly

And his people had reacted with hostile rage

There was no cause to think that that would yet change

She reached the vast ocean, leapt in to embrace

The waves as tears flooded her lovely bright face

The seaweed fronds parted and beneath them revealed

The soft Selkie skin beneath them concealed

The Maid hesitated, still holding her breath

Though to wear it meant life, she was longing for death

Rónan came to the beach and in denial he cried

To see his love leap to embrace the cruel tide

He felt his heart plummet, for he knew that before

She had not held her skin when she ran for the shore.

With tears in his eyes, he reached for his sword

Life wasn't worth living, death would have its word.

He felt the blade bite, welcomed the pain

And he fell, his bright blood the soft sand to stain


Yet the Mother was smiling, still had something to give

The townspeople found him – he was wounded, yet lived

The bore him back home, in through tavern's door

And up to a chamber where sometime before

He had slept without knowledge of the love he would know

When for a night stroll he elected to go

They laid him on the bed, dressed the wound but still

He did not recover, had lost all will

The townspeople prayed and never stopped trying

But it soon came apparent that the young man was dying

The barkeep was angry and burdened great shame

On the people as the young man murmered the name

Of the woman he loved, who from their animosity

Had taken her own life by means of the sea

"By your hand you do this," he said with a frown

"You've broken their hearts, brought dreams crashing down

There's no justice to it, the fault is all yours,

We may yet loose him too in due course

And what for, I ask you, is it a crime

To love and be loved, for young hearts to shine?

I hope you are happy with the grief you have wrought

You left a maiden to die and a young man distraught!

Best hope that some miracle might come our way

By Goddess implore, that he may yet stay!"


A/N if you want to read moreabout the Selkie and her love read 'A Selkie's love'