David Lewis Paget
I’d only been home for a week or two
And Jeanine was acting queer,
Each time she’d pass the mirror she’d stare
And I heard her say, ‘Oh dear! ’
I’d been away for five long years
But she hadn’t changed a bit,
Each time I’d ask, she’d cover her ears:
‘I have to go to The Crypt! ’
I thought that she meant the local club
Where they drank and danced all night,
‘Aren’t you a little too old for that, ’
I’d say, and her face turned white.
‘You’re only as old as you feel, ’ she snapped,
‘If only, ’ was my reply,
‘Whether we like it or not, we age,
And then, we finally die.’
She put her hands to her ears, and shrieked,
‘Don’t ever say that to me!
You can die, but I’ll still go on,
I’ll be what I want to be.’
I stood quite shocked as she raved, she cried
And turned and ran from the room,
I didn’t know what to make of her,
So sat, half stunned in the gloom.
She’d always worried about her looks
Had made up her face for hours,
I’d said, ‘You’re really compulsive, Sis, ’
She’d take innumerable showers.
I said, ‘You’re washing yourself away,
There’ll be no oil in your skin.’
‘But don’t you think that I’m beautiful, ’
She’d say, with an evil grin.
She’d never married, but dated men
Who would compliment on her looks,
‘He said I’m like Cleopatra, ’ or,
‘Like Helen of Troy in the books! ’
‘Words are cheap, ’ I would say to her
And she’d fly right into a rage,
‘You’re always trying to put me down! ’
‘You’re like a bird in a cage!
Always fluffing your feathers up
To say, ‘Hey look at me! ’
Don’t you care for the things in life
That are not complimentary? ’
But she would shrug and ignore me then
She was vain beyond compare,
I didn’t know that she’d signed a pact
With the Devil, in her despair.
The weeks went by and her mood got worse,
She was nervous, I could see,
Her hands would tremble and she would curse
Applying her toiletry.
The wrinkles set in around her eyes
‘So much for that cream I bought!
I’ll have to go to The Crypt, ’ she cried,
And burst in tears at the thought.
One day I spied her out in the street
Down by a ruined church,
She forced her way past the battened door
And disappeared with a lurch.
I waited hours, out there in the street
To see when she’d reappear,
Then realised she’d gone to the crypt
In the bowels of that church, in there.
She came out walking, as in a trance,
So beautiful, redefined,
I couldn’t believe the change in her,
I thought that I’d lost my mind.
The girl I saw was only a shell
Of the woman who once was whole,
Whoever she’d met in that evil crypt
Had walked away with her soul!
David Lewis Paget's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Poet's Notes about The Poem
Comments about this poem (The Crypt by David Lewis Paget )
Still I Rise
The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
Edgar Allan Poe
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
A Dream Within A Dream
Edgar Allan Poe
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892)
- Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
- I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
- Dreams, Langston Hughes
- If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
- Fire and Ice, Robert Frost
- Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
- Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
- If, Rudyard Kipling