Courting Disaster

Courting Disaster

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

I was twenty-three when I saw her first,

Without a word of a lie,

She had wandered into the woods by me

With a basket, held on high,

Her auburn hair reflected the sun

And she flashed me a dazzling smile,

That turned my head to the way she led

As I followed her, over the stile.

 

She skipped along at a steady pace

Weaved in and out through the trees,

Collected the broad-rimmed mushrooms there

As she stopped, and fell to her knees,

Her dress flared out as it caught the wind

And her hair was floated wide,

I hid by a tree, and held my breath

As I thought of her, as a bride.

 

She had such a look of innocence,

Was free as the birds of the air,

The legs and the grace of a peasant girl

Brought up in the great out-there,

She ran right up to a Woodsman’s house

That was hidden by branch and vine,

Then danced right in through the open door,

And then I knew; she was mine!

 

The door was closed when I finally knocked

But I heard a terrible moan,

And minutes later the door unlocked,

In the hall stood a fusty crone,

She stared at me through her hoary eyes

With never a hint of grace,

‘What do you want?’ she growled at me,

For the shock must have shown in my face.

 

‘That girl, who danced in a moment back,

I’m here to discover her name.’

‘There is no girl,’ said the ancient hack,

‘You’d better return where you came!’

‘I saw her enter, I must insist,

I’ll not be gulled by your lies!’

‘That girl’s been dead for a long time back,

You’d better leave now, if you’re wise!’

 

She slammed the door in my face just then

So I wandered back through the trees,

A raincloud covered the midday sun

And I felt the chill of a breeze,

The rain came down as I walked back home,

Climbed over the ricketty stile,

Was drenched to the skin as I wandered in,

And thought to resort to guile.

 

For days I lingered by that old track,

The place that I’d seen her first,

I felt so miserable, holding back,

As I thought, and feared for the worst,

What if the girl was a sprite, who’d died,

Just as the old crone said?

Try as I might, I couldn’t believe,

Nor get her out of my head.

 

I finally went to the Woodsman’s house

And I hid in a patch by the vine,

When suddenly out of the door came tripping

The girl, with her eyes a-shine,

She skipped away with her basket, filled

With linen and loaves and cheese,

And I caught her then in a shady glade

As she stopped, and fell to her knees.

 

‘I hoped you’d come,’ were the words she said

As she laid a cloth on the ground,

‘I have to hide from that grey old witch

So I go where I’ll never be found.’

She broke the bread and she poured the wine

And we ate and drank in the glade,

My mind was filled with a sudden chill

But I thought of fun in the shade.

 

‘So when are you going to kiss me, then?’

She said when we finished our feast,

‘I’ve fed your animal spirits, now,

It’s time I was paid, at least!’

I kissed her there in the shady glade

And we tumbled there in the leaves,

Then I fell asleep, and she’d gone when I

Awoke, and the heart, it grieves.

 

I stumbled home, but was feeling faint

I had aches and pains in my head,

I staggered through to the bedroom, then

I found her asleep in my bed,

She woke and sat, and she stared at me

But her face had begun to change,

There were lines and wrinkles around her eyes

And her hair was grey with age.

 

‘I need you now that my time is short,

Come and rest your weary head,’

I caught a glimpse in the mirror then

And it filled me full of dread,

For the face of a man of middle age

Stared back at me from the glass,

‘Just what have to done to me?’ I said…

‘Do you really have to ask?’

 

‘I fed on your animal needs, and you

Gave something to set me free,

If you want me to be a bright young thing

Then you must replenish me.’

I saw she aged by the minute there

And she soon let out a moan,

For lying in bed was a figure of dread,

That hoary old witch, the crone!

 

I’m far too weak to get out of bed,

But Elli goes out on her own,

She carries her basket into the wood

For the mushrooms she eats alone,

My beard is grey and I dread each day

As she bleeds my life from its core,

But she’s as lovely as ever she was

At a hundred and twenty-four!

 

David Lewis Paget


© 2012 David Lewis Paget



My Review

Would you like to review this Poem?
Login | Register




Featured Review

Of course only you could think of this story. men we are so debase arent we? We would follow a stream till it petered out and worry for tomorrow the day after. Probably a bit of truth to this tale .All of us have heard of a old wench that drove a man to his grave with her bitterness

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Seems as if the saying, "Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it" could apply here, to the once young man.
~pat

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

very risky stay! a love worth dying for, perhaps, is one thats worth a stay!
but the lines are nice! very imaginative!
very nice poem Mr. David! Very nice poem!

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I don't think a married man can safely review this even with my Avatar ,If I speak I know one who could make me push a peanut down main with my nose, a boot in the bottom every step,as the crowds watch, so yes well done, but he said it not me.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Whoa! this is a splendid story! I love the rhythm and meter and substance! Excellent write, David. Perfect to read aloud by a campfire.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

beautiful story....

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Great poem, Great story, sends chills filled with awesome imagery, fine write indeed.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

So much to see in this story. Entertaining read as always. Speaks about deep truths in the " price" we pay for our desires. Both man and woman. Well done.

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Oh how I love a tale of a succubus! Great poem :)

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

[send message][befriend] Subscribe
Pax
Interesting...And a surprising mysterious ending... Facinating write

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I read this yesterday but my review must not have took..Another sneaky and craft piece..your mind must go in a whirlwind half of the time..Fantastic Love and God bless you and yours..Kathie

Posted 4 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


First Page first
Previous Page prev
1
Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

720 Views
15 Reviews
Rating
Added on October 26, 2012
Last Updated on October 26, 2012
Tags: auburn, mushrooms, basket, crone

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



About
more..

Writing