Michael Carroll


The Death Of The Traveler


The Traveler grew feeble, ancient of days
His eyesight gone dim, his hair turned to gray
His hands, gnarled and twisted, no longer strong
His knees, stiff and painful from dancing too long

His love for the Sprite had grown with the years
They'd shared joy and laughter, sorrow and tears
Her enchantment had given unnatural long life
To the one she adored and protected from strife

While they danced and they loved, four hundred years flew
It felt like just moments, but the Willow Sprite knew
That she couldn't stop time, nobody can
She was immortal, the Traveler, a man

Still she tended his aches, never leaving his side
And felt no regret for becoming his bride
She watched as he withered and wasted away
Her lovely glow dimming with each passing day

The Fae of the wood felt the grief of their queen
To see what could be done, the Council convened
‘Round the bed of the Traveler they solemnly stood
For he had earned their respect, by being loyal and good

The Traveler's eyes opened, he raised his aged head,
Gathered his strength, cleared his throat, and then said,
'For these four hundred years, such joy I have had
And now that it is ended, there's no need to be sad, '

'As no man before me, I've been happy and blessed
But please, if you would, grant this one last request
My life soon will be over, but I yearn for the chance
To have with my lady one last farewell dance'

Touched by the great love of this mortal man
The Council agreed, then joined their hands
The wood suddenly lit as if day conquered night
The Traveler, young again took the hand of the Sprite

'You have this night only to say your goodbyes, '
The Fairy King told them, with tears in his eyes
The Traveler nodded his thanks to the Fae,
Put his arms ‘round the Sprite and swept her away

They waltzed through the wood ‘till they got to the place
The Traveler first witnessed her unsurpassed grace
They clung to each other, arms and hearts entwined
The Dawn, fast approaching never far from their minds

When the tops of the trees were touched by the Sun
The Traveler slumped to the ground, and their last dance was done
The Willow Sprite wailed and collapsed to her knees
From the force of her grief, the leaves fell from the trees

The Fae laid the Traveler to rest where he fell
The Willow Sprite, weeping, began weaving a spell
Her arms turned to branches, roots sprung from her feet
It took but a moment for the change to complete

The love of the Traveler and Sprite still lives on
It wasn't extinguished that morning at Dawn
The Traveler's grave isn't marked by a stone
But by the love of his Sprite, now a Weeping Willow

Submitted: Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Edited: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

A sequel to 'The Traveler and the Sprite'

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