Siren Song

Oh what are they a-doing of, the Sirens on the rocks?
A-nodding and a-gossiping and knitting winter socks,
In saucy stripes and gaudy checks and polka dots and plaids,
When not engaged in singing songs to simple sailor lads.
Yo-ho, me lads, and so, me lads, you may bet your monthly money,
It's purl and plain upon the main that keeps the Sirens sunny.

Oh what are they a-doing of, the Mermaids in the grottoes?
A-giving cracker parties, and reading out the mottoes?
But no, they crochet winter vests to keep away the cold
And play upon their lutes and flutes and triangles of gold.
Yo-ho me lads, and so, me lads, attend this wisdom weighty
Its crochet on the ocean blue that keeps the mermaids matey.

And what about the Loreleis a-sitting by the streams
Enticing with their lullabies young oarsmen into dreams?
When not engaged in lullabies they weave warm underwear
To keep them from the clammy rocks and chilly winter air.
Yo-ho, me lads, and so, me lads, you take, if you are wise,
Some shuttles and some wool to please the looming Loreleis.

Joan Aiken