Published with “Knights of the Joyous Venture” in Puck of Pook’s Hill (1906).
Kipling’s imagination was powerfully stirred by the tales of Vikings adventuring out from Norway and Denmark across the dangerous and mysterious waters of the ocean, “the old grey widow-maker’ as in this story. See also “The Finest Story in the World”.
Here, however, he is seeing these fearful forays from the viewpoint of the women left behind.
Ever since his childhood, he had seen the sea, and the margins between sea and land, as a place of sadness and apprehension.
There is a sung version by Peter Bellamy here.
©Donald Mackenzie 2020 All rights reserved