The Summons


In the fire-shadowed room he spoke of Night,
A Night with bricked-up windows, iron door
That, barred, remained shut fast against all light.
I listened, cheer-replete and laughter-sore
And fresh from happy song.

The doom came crashing hard against my dreams,
Dead-star-like on my peace and on my heart;
Dim jealous coal from far infernal seams
Flung from the Void to snuff a moment's spark.
Like breath my youth was gone.

Around us lay the meads and winding ways,
And snug the little kitchen-room we shared,
Sweet-scented with the ghosts of other days;
But forfeit now with peril new declared,
Thus was I home-bereft.

The merry glimmer of my little fire,
Bright-mirrored in the many-lettered gold,
Was twisted sudden to the Night's desire;
And with the slant, unhidden tale it told,
Ere I could know to cry to Darkness, "Hold!"
It burned tomorrow into bitter cold,
And naught to me was left.


C. Baillie / '03