David Lewis Paget
The Myth Maker - Poem by David Lewis Paget
He sat up under the gables
Over the second floor of the house,
And peered on out from his fables
Like he was playing cat and mouse,
The dirt was thick on the window pane
As he scribed his feather quill,
That scraped on the dusty parchment
With a sound like a whippoorwill.
The hood that covered his features
Fully encrusted there with dust,
Had hung in one of the niches
Under an archway, covered in rust,
He'd worn it over a hundred years
Since his face became a skull,
And frightened the little pantry maid
In the House of Nevergull.
His hands like a pair of talons, creaked
As he held the feather quill,
Scraped like the bones of felons, reaped
From the charnel house at Rhyl,
The servants knew him as Braxelrod
Or the Lady Mary's Curse,
He kept the soul of her mother, sealed
Around his neck in a purse.
The Lady Mary in sickness lay
To pay for her mother's sin,
He'd never allowed her out to play
Nor any her friends come in,
Her mother had died unshriven
For her dallying with McCloud,
One night, the hearse had been driven
Taking her mother, wrapped in a shroud.
Each time that Mary had tried to leave
She'd find that the door was barred,
While looking out through the windows
She could see monsters, there in the yard,
The monsters conjured by Braxelrod
From the demons deep in his soul,
Where love had turned to the festering
Of a hate, that had to be told.
He never moved from the gables
Where he scribbled his tales of woe,
His needs were few and were simple
And supplied by the maid below,
He'd send a note to the pantry maid
And he'd start the note with ‘Please;
If it's not too much, I would like to sup
And I'm partial to cottage cheese.'
The house would creak to the rafters
While the servants shivered below,
They'd all draw straws in a silent pause
For the one that would have to go,
He'd never turn from his parchment
So they would leave it there on a plate,
‘Now you be wise, don't look in his eyes
Or you might just see Hell's Gate! '
The gardener brought in the poison
That he'd been using on the bees,
While the pantry maid and the Butler
Paid him to mix it with the cheese,
Then late on a grim and starlit night
They heard when he gasped, and fell,
And the demons out in the outer yard
Took off, on their way to Hell.
The House sits deep in a misty vale
Cut off from the world outside,
There isn't a single story left
So the mist is thick, and wide,
But Mary opened the leather purse
When the Moon came out to see,
And laughed as she shook it out, and said,
Oh Mother, at last, you're free! '
11 January 2013
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