Page:A Mainsail Haul - Masefield - 1913.djvu/54

This page has been validated.

42

A MAINSAIL HAUL

cathedral, while all the bells in the town rang as they ring at Easter, in exultation. After a solemn leave-taking he set sail again (his bride with him) for his home at St. Mary of the Bells.

There are nine rocks, submerged at high water, about a league to the south-east of Ayamonte Harbour. They go by the name of the Nine Drowned Maidens. They are a menace to shipping, but latterly they have been marked by a lighthouse. It is thought that the Lord Alva's pilot had been made merry with Greek wine (though some say the ill-steering was done by a knight of the bride's company, who loved the lady too well to suffer her to belong to another). At any rate the Spanish Rose struck upon the rocks during the noontime, when her gay complement, so like a bed of tulips for brilliant colour, were drinking to the lady's health. She sank in less than a minute, in deep, calm blue water, with all her company on board. All that was saved of her was an Italian lute, strung with gay, silk ribbons, which floated ashore the next day.

Less than ten years ago, when the Ayamonte folk were laying the foundations for their light-