David Lewis Paget

Rookie - 616 Points (22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

The Poem of Ellery Caine


‘My Lord, My lord, won’t you let me be? ’
She screamed from her ivory tower,
Sir Roland stood by her castle gate,
And all that he did was glower.
‘I laid a bet of a thousand pounds
That I’d have you wed by the Spring,
I’ll not move hence from your castle gate
Until you accept my ring! ’

I pursed my lips and I laid aside
That poem by Ellery Caine,
The poet who’d recently come to abide
At the cottage in Primrose Lane,
We’d struck up quite an acquaintanceship
Though I wouldn’t call him a friend,
He’d sought me out to survey his work,
And this was the last he’d penned.

He had a penchant for gothic themes,
For castles, dungeons and trolls,
Of ladies trapped in their helplessness,
Imprisoned in castle walls,
He’d said, ‘My narratives come in dreams,
And I write as far as they go,
I often wake as the lady screams,
Then wait for the end to show.’

His Lady Jane he had tried to save
From abuse by arrogant knights,
She’d been accosted by every knave,
But fought to preserve her rights,
Her father was a recusant knight
Who had suffered a violent fate,
But she inherited what he’d left
And her grandfather’s estate.

‘I fear she’ll come to a violent end, ’
He’d said, one day to me,
‘For ladies back in those distant days
Had little choice to be free.’
I said, ‘But you are in charge of this,
You’re the Master of her Fate,
A simple twirl of your pen will take
That knight from her castle gate.’

His mouth had twitched as he made reply,
And his brow was furrowed and dark,
‘I told you that it’s not up to me! ’
We walked alone in the park.
‘My pen is guided by dreams at night,
And they do whatever they will,
If she’ll not be wed by the morning light,
I’m sure that her blood will spill.’

I looked again at that final verse
And my heart had bled for Jane,
I felt she’d suffered enough, and so
I visited Primrose Lane,
The night was dark and the shades were drawn
But a candle sputtered its light,
And there the poet was at his desk
With a quill, and about to write.

I hardly remember what I did
When I splattered his brains on the page,
I only saw what he’d written there
And my anger had turned to rage;
‘Sir Roland mounted her private stair…’
Was the final line that he wrote,
I thought I’d saved her an awful fate
But Jane had screamed, and I quote…

‘You’ve left me here, suspended in time
With his brains and blood on my dress,
He may have written the worst for me,
But all you’ve left is a mess.
My story’s over, it’s ended now,
There’s no-one to write me free, ’
Her face stared back from a mirror then,
A face that should have been me!

2 May 2013

Submitted: Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Edited: Tuesday, May 14, 2013

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