The Poet of Woe
A raven’s cry and a rush of wings,
Jarred me from that startling dream
Of a haunting look, a trembling hand,
And a tattered cloak; it was a man.
A spectral ghastly, yet alluring.
His fame no doubt was much enduring.
Yea, reaching through the mists of time!
From his parted lips, first a hushing sigh,
Then a tale he told, and one of olde.
Transfixed, was I, by the Poet of Woe.
I heard his strangled voice call forth,
While he hovered on that foggy moor.
A crying hound punctuated his grief.
The name, Lenore, oh disbelief!
Undying love for her, had he,
And she for him had nothing less.
Sorrow-filled, an exile truly,
Wracked and bitter, such a mess.
Parted were they in this life,
Tortured by both toils and strife.
As curious as the proverbial cat,
I wondered on this and I pondered on that.
‘O Son of Adam, is thy grief full measure?
Doth Lenore lie buried, thy hidden treasure?’
Those questions I asked, and many others.
‘An only son were ye, or had ye brothers?”
“Did ye know my cousin, the one from St. Blight?
He claims that he saw ye the other night,
And ye spoke but one word, and not any other.
He’s as rude as they come and much like my brother.’
My banter was stopped by the Poet’s sharp look
He muttered, ‘Don’t give me that gobbledegook!
Ask no more questions! To me, speak no more!
For I’ve lost my dear angel, my darling Lenore!’
He threw his head back, gave a loud, anguished wail.
How rigid he grew, like a tall, coffin nail!
‘One day you’ll both share an eternity,
And hand in hand stroll peacefully’,
Quoth I to the Poet to ease his dire pain,
Then silence except for the pattering rain.
Out of the depths of his wide-eyed gaze,
Grew shock and suspicion, though I dared not say.
‘Tis balm from Gilead,’ he croaked plaintively.
‘My long lost Lenore, oh where could she be?
I have traversed this world all alone, ‘cept for thee.
From this foul Purgatory, I must be set free!’
The rain departed, but not the damp chill.
He looked away, toward a far, distant hill,
And there in white dress, peering ever so bleakly,
She stood gaunt and penitent, humbly and meekly.
‘Twas her, the risen treasure a’roaming!
She parted the mist and reached through the gloaming.
As if on cue, a dark wispy veil,
Fell between us; he bade me farewell.
I peered and I strained and could hardly see,
Through that veil which thickened the mystery!
To her side he rushed; he could wait no more,
And taking her hand, croaked, ‘Ah! Mi amor!’
He bestowed her a rose, asked with questioning eyes,
‘Is thy love now buried? Is it yet still alive?’
‘As it was, is it deep and as long and as wide?
Say yes, for love’s arrow remains in my side!
My heart’s still the same, though it doth need some mending.
Thy love,’ he prayed, ‘Let it be neverending!’
From his hand, she plucked the soft token of love,
So blush at the tips, elsewhere white as a dove.
Sainted maiden at side, he soon drifted forth.
Perhaps they would seek some Plutonian shore.
Pondering his fated and unforgotten lore,
I knew they’d visit this moor…nevermore.