Final Judgement

Final Judgement

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

My nerves gave way on a winter’s night

In the town of Grantham Hay,

I had burned the candle at multiple ends

And now I would have to pay,

I’d played the Lord ‘til the lights went out

Sat long on the judgement seat,

And sent poor souls to the fiery coals

Where they’d burn with a fierce heat!

 

At night the oak of the gallows creaked,

The embers glowed in the dark,

The screams and cries from the old assize

Were lost on this marble heart,

I took a room at the local Inn

Sat hid in the dark, and cursed,

And drank my rum from a pannikin,

Shaped like a horse-drawn hearse!

 

The nights were long, and the wind was strong,

The soldiers moaned in their sleep,

The redcoats lay on the fresh-mown hay,

The Officers stayed in the Keep,

While lines of villagers chafed in chains

And women sobbed in the night,

To wait for the fate of their husbands, sons,

That I hung from a terrible height!

 

The rebels had seized the market town,

Had held all the produce back,

With little enough to eat for themselves

They kept all the cheese and sack,

The leaders fell in the very first charge

The women stood tall at the rear,

The King said: ‘show them the point of a gun,

I’ll not stand their treason here!’

 

So the Dales were strewn with gallows fruit,

Each tree bowed down with its load,

I couldn’t take strolls in the air at night

For fear of each swinging soul.

The branches swayed and the shadows formed

Like fingers, gripped at my throat,

I almost choked on the blackness, where

A life was worth barely a groat!

 

One night, a wind sprang out of the soil,

It rippled and hummed and frowned,

It scattered the leaves from the last few trees

And dropped all the fruit on the ground!

Then shadow-like men began to form,

And walked by the hedges and eaves,

While the sound of the wind grew torpid and grim

Like the anger of men, deceived!

 

And then was a babel, and then was a scream,

Filling the space in my head,

A terrible riveting horror, a dream,

Of thousands of victims, dead!

And the shadows came into my chamber then,

Like an army of peasants and fools,

Chanting such hate at their master of fate

As the lord of their darkness rules!

 

They locked me in here, in this dungeon, I fear

That they’ll not let me out with my life,

My reason, it chatters with spirits and demons

And shadows surround in the night;

I see that the term of my judgement was flawed,

I murdered by justice and pen,

And simple compassion is lost to the judge who

Takes Hope from the meanest of men!

 

David Lewis Paget


© 2012 David Lewis Paget



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Featured Review

A message for us all in those last few lines, I sometimes feel like that when reviewing the work of others, I find it difficult to balance an honest review with a little sensitivity...if forced to choose between the two i just say it how it is, that's how I would like others to do it for me. I loved this poem, it made me think about what they called in England The Peterloo Massacre that happened here in Manchester. You are a great rythmic rhyme master David and always have something interesting to relay. Thanks.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Justice!?!? I see why do few leave any reviews. You take the breath away. That is why only 10% leave reviews. There is just nothing left to say. It is hard for kebabs I'm just a wordy nerd. Ha
Loved it! Loved the imagery.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

They locked me in here, in this dungeon, I fear
I murdered by justice and pen,

Amazing poem:)

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You are a wonderful story teller and poet, David! You can distill into a poem what many people attempt in a lengthy novel and fail at. So glad Tate pointed you out to me.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

You are a legend, sir and your poems bear testimony to the very fact....
One more of your great poems..... Loved it!

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Superb poetry in every way, content, style and quality. How can one man have the ability to tell such a dramatic tale within such fine traditional meter .. amazing! You've really covered a range of experiences and emotions, all leaving me wondering if perhaps you could write or talk about anything and everything!

All of your stanzas great but this for me ..

' The nights were long, and the wind was strong,
The soldiers moaned in their sleep,
The redcoats lay on the fresh-mown hay,
The Officers stayed in the Keep,
While lines of villagers chafed in chains
And women sobbed in the night,
To wait for the fate of their husbands, sons,
That I hung from a terrible height! '

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Your reference to "gallows fruit" reminded me of Billie Holliday's "Strange Fruit", whether or not intentionally. The darker aspects of this piece are like a genre unto themelves, that is, the retribution in death of those who acted awry in life. Kudos of the highest order for this little morality play, Sir!

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I adore this piece because it narrows in on fears and hopes, dreams and the moment we all expect.

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Superb as always sir! BZ

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

In war, there's collateral damage on both sides, the victor as well as the defeated. But I like the way you say it better.
The forest of branch gallows, the wailing of the family's left, the burdened conscience of the tribunal officers... it's all here in stunning graphic detail.
Such a touch you have with the pen.
I'm hopin' a little rubs off on me....

Posted 5 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on January 27, 2012
Last Updated on January 28, 2012
Tags: gallows, embers, souls, shadows

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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