David Lewis Paget
Final Judgement - Poem by David Lewis Paget
My nerves gave way on a winter’s night
In the town of Grantham Hay,
I had burned the candle at multiple ends
And now I would have to pay,
I’d played the Lord ‘til the lights went out
Sat long on the judgement seat,
And sent poor souls to the fiery coals
Where they’d burn with a fierce heat!
At night the oak of the gallows creaked,
The embers glowed in the dark,
The screams and cries from the old assize
Were lost on this marble heart,
I took a room at the local Inn
Sat hid in the dark, and cursed,
And drank my rum from a pannikin,
Shaped like a horse-drawn hearse!
The nights were long, and the wind was strong,
The soldiers moaned in their sleep,
The redcoats lay on the fresh-mown hay,
The Officers stayed in the Keep,
While lines of villagers chafed in chains
And women sobbed in the night,
To wait for the fate of their husbands, sons,
That I hung from a terrible height!
The rebels had seized the market town,
Had held all the produce back,
With little enough to eat for themselves
They kept all the cheese and sack,
The leaders fell in the very first charge
The women stood tall at the rear,
The King said: ‘show them the point of a gun,
I’ll not stand their treason here! ’
So the Dales were strewn with gallows fruit,
Each tree bowed down with its load,
I couldn’t take strolls in the air at night
For fear of each swinging soul.
The branches swayed and the shadows formed
Like fingers, gripped at my throat,
I almost choked on the blackness, where
A life was worth barely a groat!
One night, a wind sprang out of the soil,
It rippled and hummed and frowned,
It scattered the leaves from the last few trees
And dropped all the fruit on the ground!
Then shadow-like men began to form,
And walked by the hedges and eaves,
While the sound of the wind grew torpid and grim
Like the anger of men, deceived!
And then was a babel, and then was a scream,
Filling the space in my head,
A terrible riveting horror, a dream,
Of thousands of victims, dead!
And the shadows came into my chamber then,
Like an army of peasants and fools,
Chanting such hate at their master of fate
As the lord of their darkness rules!
They locked me in here, in this dungeon, I fear
That they’ll not let me out with my life,
My reason, it chatters with spirits and demons
And shadows surround in the night;
I see that the term of my judgement was flawed,
I murdered by justice and pen,
And simple compassion is lost to the judge who
Takes Hope from the meanest of men!
Comments about Final Judgement by David Lewis Paget
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe