Eternal Youth

Eternal Youth

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

Be careful what you wish for...


I was travelling through a countryside

That I’d never seen before,

As it grew dark, the mountainsides

Loomed threatening, over my car,

The cloud hung low in a louring sky

And my headlights cut through the gloom,

Ahead on the twisting, bending road

I had hopes of a cosy room.


There wasn’t a house or a farm out there,

The valley was threading down,

The deeper it went, the darker yet

With still no sign of a town,

I thought that I’d have to drive all night

And my eyes were growing dim,

When back in the trees, I saw a light

And a sign: ‘The Dew Drop Inn’.


I pulled at the bell for the Publican

And I heard a shuffle inside,

A shadow loomed, and the hinges creaked

And the door swung open wide,

A man so gaunt that his face was grey

And his sallow cheeks were thin,

Stood trembling in the doorway there

In the hall of the Dew Drop Inn!’


I followed him in, not saying a word,

He motioned me into the bar,

Then poured me a whiskey and water

While I stared at a glass topped jar,

It drew my gaze as I sipped my drink

For the contents bubbled and swirled,

And I said: ‘Just where is the Dew Drop Inn?’

He replied: ‘At the End of the World!’


His voice came bubbling out of his chest

Like the rasp of a rusty saw,

His hands were trembling, where they lay

And he kept his eyes on the door.

‘That jar, it changes its colours, look!

From red, through green and gold…’

He said: ‘They told me one sip from that

And a man would never grow old!’


I stared at him, and I saw him frown

With a tear at the edge of his eye,

This ancient man with the trembling hand

And I said: ‘Well, that was a lie!’

He shook his head and he turned to me

‘It depends what you want it for,

I was twenty-two when I took my sip…

I’m a hundred and sixty four!’


‘I didn’t age for a hundred years

I revelled in youth, so long,

But suddenly I grew weary, thought

That there must have been something wrong!

I lost the zest for a youthful life,

Was beginning to feel my years,

All of my friends were dead and gone,

This life is a valley of tears!’


‘You’re telling me that one sip from this

Will give me a hundred - True?

I’ll still be fit and I’ll still be strong,

At a hundred and thirty two?’

‘You will, but there’s a condition

You must take on the Dew Drop Inn,

And stay in this cursèd valley then

‘Til a seeker of youth walks in!’


I’m standing behind the counter with

My eyes on the outer door,

I’ve stood like stone for forty years

And paced a track on the floor,

The Publican left, the moment I sipped

He went with a joyous cry,

In search of a path from the Dew Drop Inn

Where at last, he could finally die!


David Lewis Paget

© 2012 David Lewis Paget

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Featured Review


You've done it again! A diamond of a write that's for sure. The beat was perfect, imagery superb. All in all a winner! Thank you.

Posted 8 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

great storytelling as always David, this poem is a terrific accomplishment combining poetry with horror of the worst kind, everlasting until someone foolish comes along, an exceptional work, bravo :)

Posted 3 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This read with a familiar ring to it...
The dream is not a wonderful as the chance to wake up and live... or die.
But to be engaged and have meaning beyond taking in air and breathing out toxic fumes, this is where the matter finds poetic expression.
Thank you for sharing your fine work with this community.

Posted 4 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very well thought out David. We all wish to extend our young but to what gain? We want to live until we are old and grey but at some point when all the aches and pains and boredom set in, we ask ourselves why. The greed of the man to stay hale and hearty left him bereft. He could not leave the inn nor show his face outside of his lonely existence so to whom did it benefit? Very astute my friend.

Posted 4 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Amazing....We all wish for a hundred years and then we realize that what we would do with these years. ..i think god just gave us this total age to us so that we live our life like there's no tomorrow and we can leave this world when we feel bored of it....nice take ....and please let me know about your newer works

Posted 4 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

What a wise tale superbly told.

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You for me bring authentic soul of poetry.You add golden-touch to the compositions.The wisdom is off skeptics, well at least now we can unveil the truth of 'Dew Drop Inn'.I with no hesitance wanna take sip of immortality to wander around the wisdoms and your poem.The poem holds the ingenuity to ripple through the nerves and inscribe its mark.I got one way to look to my poems and draw inspiration from such an enrich source.KEEP WRITING.

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Your wit, your charismatic charm, your brilliance with launguage, your calm manner and composure at creating such memorable poetry. You craft language into brilliant reads as De Vinci with his brush of paint, You never cease to amaze me, you always elicit enthusiasm that builds as one reads each line, each stanza, and you are most definitely a poets poet!! love it!!

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Breathtaking to say the least, your writing simply astounds me at how you're able to, weave magical spells, with unexpected twists and turns - your stories, words, imagery always seem to capture me in a web, then ,unfortunately the spells broken, when i reached the end of your writings. once again, brilliant, just simply... brilliant!

Posted 5 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I don't know how to start this - yes be careful what you wish for, everything comes at a price! This is a delightful piece to read! I truly enjoyed every minute of it. The line - ‘Just where is the Dew Drop Inn?’
He replied: ‘At the End of the World!’ - Really caught me off guard :) At first I was expecting death at the Dew Drop Inn, and instead, Eternal Life - What a master piece. The end really surprised me, as the man told him of the conditions and the misery he found after a certain age, he was still willing to take the sip. I see this as greed - he was warned, yet wanted it anyway.
Lovely write! Thank you for sharing :)

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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58 Reviews
Shelved in 12 Libraries
Added on July 9, 2012
Last Updated on July 9, 2012
Tags: Inn, publican, trembling, age


David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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