Kate Bush:

Her Source


'The Ninth Wave'


In 1986, looking through a book by Geoffrey Ashe, I came upon a passage from the poem by Tennyson from which Kate Bush quotes on the sleeve of her best-selling LP 'Hounds Of Love.' Kate quotes four lines, from which she derived the phrase 'the ninth wave.' If you read the longer excerpt here, which describes what Mr.Ashe refers to as a "marvellous origin" for Arthur, you may begin to grasp that there may be a lot more to Kate's quotation from this poem than could be guessed from her four lines…….. …

from the castle gateway by the chasm

Descending thro' the dismal night - a night

In which the bounds of heaven and earth were lost -

Beheld, so high upon the dreary deeps

It seem'd in heaven, a ship, the shape thereof

A dragon wing'd, and all from stem to stern

Bright with a shining people on the decks,

And gone as soon as seen. And then the two

Dropt to the cove, and watch'd the great sea fall,

Wave after wave, each mightier than the last,

Till last, a ninth one, gathering half the deep

And full of voices, slowly rose and plunged

Roaring, and all the wave was in a flame:

And down the wave and in the wave was borne

A naked babe, and rode to Merlin's feet,

Who stoopt and caught the babe, and cried "The King!

Here is an heir for Uther!" And the fringe

Of that great breaker, sweeping up the strand,

Lash'd at the wizard as he spake the word,

And all at once all round him rose in fire,

So that the child and he were cloth'd in fire.

And presently thereafter follow'd calm,

Free sky and stars.



Tennyson's reference to 'a shining people' on the decks of the bright ship that was 'in heaven' and 'gone as soon as seen' may have been consciously inspired by legends of 'The Shining Ones.' Here is a relevant link, which I think you'll find well worth checking out -

Remember Us??? We are the Shining Ones Healers from Sirius