Twilight's Burden

[ Read Poem ]

I wander another lonely night,

Floating dream-like through the hall.

I see a lantern growing bright.

A comely fellow it doth draw.

I say to him, "A lovely eve,

the moon is wide awake."

The batchelor jumps, and thus he spake,

"Forgive my grave mistake!

"I did not mean to break the knot

or sully what was ours!

Spare me please and haunt me not,

my lady of lily flowers!"

Confused and frightened, he runs astray,

shouting out what he defiled.

I venture onward, yon' archway,

t'ward a woman with her child.

"A bonny lass," I say gently,

"A warmth she can compel.

Your visage ashen, -'tis a spell?"

She turns at me to yell,

"I did not do it, leave me be!

Twasn't my fault you fell.

I shout 'come now!' but yet you flee,

and drown'd within the well!"

A portguard heard her wailing cries

and rushed toward the clamour.

Now as he comes, autumn wind flies,

racing soft beneath his banner.

"By heofon's grace!" The soldier croaked,

"I thought you'd died at bay!

The war grew dim, I could not stay!

I aimed not to betray!"

Up at me, the child, she smiles

and waves a dumpy hand.

No dread in her, 'stead she beguiles

while others fear the damned.