Dat golfer Joost Luiten een albatros sloeg, was gisteren groot nieuws. O jee, dacht ik, als Dion Graus nu maar geen kamervragen gaat stellen. Kamervragen stellen is een kostbare zaak en dat is de door Luiten geslagen albatros niet waard. Want er is geen sprake van dierenmishandeling, Joost Luiten sloeg gewoon drie slagen onder par.
Waarom die slagen onder par vogelnamen – birdy (-1), eagle (-2), albatross (-3), condor (-4) – hebben weet ik niet.
Behalve aan Dion Graus deed het bericht me ook denken aan Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Hij schreef The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in seven parts (1798, er is ook een versie 1817). Daarin doodt een oude zeeman een albatros (met alle gevolgen van dien):
At length did cross an Albatross:
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God’s name.
It ate the food it ne’er had eat,
And round and round it flew.
The ice did split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!
And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariners’ hollo!
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,
Glimmered the white Moon-shine.
“God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee thus!—
Why look’st thou so?”—With my cross-bow
I shot the ALBATROSS.
Dat Iron Maiden zich liet inspireren door Samuel Taylor Coleridge weet ik nog maar net (dankzij Joost Luiten):
Hear the rime of the ancient mariner
See his eye as he stops one of three
Mesmerises one of the wedding guests
Stay here and listen to the nightmares of the sea.
And the music plays on, as the bride passes by
Caught by his spell and the mariner tells his tale.
Driven south to the land of the snow and ice
To a place where nobody’s been
Through the snow fog flies on the albatross
Hailed in god’s name, hoping good luck it brings.
And the ship sails on, back to the north
Through the fog and ice and the albatross follows on.
The mariner kills the bird of good omen
His shipmates cry against what he’s done
But when the fog clears, they justify him
And make themselves a part of the crime.
Sailing on and on and north across the sea
Sailing on and on and north ’til all is calm.
The albatross begins with it’s vengeance
A terrible curse a thirst has begun
His shipmates blame bad luck on the mariner
About his neck, the dead bird is hung.
And the curse goes on and on at sea
And the curse goes on and on for them and me.
‘Day after day, day after day,
we stuck nor breath nor motion
As idle as a painted ship upon a painted ocean
Water, water everywhere and
all the boards did shrink
Water, water everywhere nor any drop to drink.’
There calls the mariner
There comes a ship over the line
But how can she sail with no wind in her sails and no tide.
See… onward she comes
Onward she nears out of the sun
See, she has no crew
She has no life, wait but here’s two.
Death and she life in death,
They throw their dice for the crew
She wins the mariner and he belongs to her now.
Then… crew one by one
They drop down dead, two hundred men
She… she, life in death.
She lets him live, her chosen one.
‘One after one by the star dogged moon,
Too quick for groan or sigh
Each turned his facce with a ghastly pang
And cursed me with his eye
Four times fifty living men
(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.’
The curse it lives on in their eyes
The mariner wished he’d die
Along with the sea creatures
But they lived on, so did he.
And by the light of the moon
He prays for their beauty not doom
With heart he blesses them
God’s creatures all of them too.
Then the spell starts to break
The albatross falls from his neck
Sinks down like lead into the sea
Then down in falls comes the rain.
Hear the groans of the long dead seamen
See them stir and they start to rise
Bodies lifted by good spirits
None of them speak and they’re lifelesss in their eyes
And revenge is still sought, penance starts again
Cast into a trance and the nightmare carries on.
Now the curse is finally lifted
And the mariner sights his home
Spirits go fromhe long dead bodies
Form their own light and the mariner’s left alone.
And then a boat came sailing towards him
It was a joy he could not believe
The pilot’s boat, his son and the hermit,
Penance of life will fall onto him.
And the ship sinks like lead into the sea
And the hermit shrieves the mariner of his sins.
The mariner’s bound to tell of his story
To tell this tale wherever he goes
To teach god’s word by his own example
That we must love all things thaat God made.
And the wedding guest’s a sad and wiser man
And the tale goes on and on and on.