The Castle of Lost in Time

The Castle of Lost in Time

A Poem by David Lewis Paget

The Castle that stood in the farmer’s field

Was a grey and battered shrine,

As kids we’d clamber the battlements

And imagine a former time,

When Norman soldiers stood at the heights,

Looked down on the Saxon serfs,

Who paid their tax to the Baron there

When the Normans ruled the earth!

 

And I’d be Baron Fitzwulf up there,

While Craig would be Robin Hood,

Our histories would be twisted there,

We’d mix and match what we could.

A hundred years was a slip of time

To pray for my own soul’s sake,

When I was Thomas A’Becket, and

He was Sir Francis Drake.

 

The walls were battered and falling down

Had been since the Cromwell siege,

When Charles had fled with his standard, said

No longer to be ‘My Liege!’

The cannon had ripped through the southern wall

Had brought the portcullis down,

And the Roundheads, ferried across the moat

Had slain every man they found!

 

But ivy clung to the stubborn stone,

And climbed right up to the tower,

Where knights once practised their courtly love

Grew the strangest sort of flower,

Its petals red in the morning sun

With a heart of gold within,

‘They’d pluck it up on their lances there,’

Said Craig, ‘for Ann Boleyn!’

 

Above our heads was a fireplace

Set high in the ancient wall,

The beams long gone where a floor belonged,

There’d once been a stately hall,

Where Dames had danced in their silken gowns

And knights had cast in their lots,

Had drawn up the Magna Carta there

For the shame of John the fox!

 

But Farmer Giles was a bitter man

And he’d chase us over the brook,

Whenever he showed in the Castle grounds,

No matter what time it took,

He even managed to fence it off

But we’d scale the fence with glee,

And play to our hearts content, with him

Away where he couldn’t see!

 

One night, we carried our sleeping bags

And stole through the darkening night,

I was the Duke of Marlborough

And Craig was Sir Hugh De’Spight,

We made our way through the ruins, found

A nook, we could safely sleep,

‘We’ll wait ‘til the morning light,’ I said,

‘Then we’ll play the Lord of the Keep!’

 

We woke as the Moon beamed overhead

Peeked out through a glowering cloud,

I could hear the strains of a harpsichord

The murmured sounds of a crowd,

A man that looked like a villainous lord

Appeared, not saying a word,

We scrambled out of our sleeping bags

As he drew out a wicked sword!

 

Then Craig took off with a yell, and I

Flew over the slated floor,

We jumped down into a passageway

That hadn’t been there before,

The walls were damp with an evil stain

And brands that flickered the way,

Along to the castle dungeons, filled

With chains, and a smell - Decay!

 

And there in a tiny cell we saw,

Most rivetting sight of all,

The skull of a grinning skeleton,

Chained fast to the dungeon wall,

The bones were covered in cobwebs

But he’d scrawled in dust on the floor,

‘Pray God to smite all mine enemies,

The Devil will take them all!’

 

We heard the clanking of chains along

The darkened passageway,

And like a shroud in a shimmering cloud

Was a soldier, dressed in grey,

His stare was that of a madman, crazed

The fires of hell in his eyes,

As he seized the haft of a burning brand

He looked like the Farmer, Giles!

 

I ran clean through the spectre, thought

That Craig was coming behind,

Cleared the end of the tunnel, leapt

Back up in a single bound,

I didn’t stop for a backward glance

I ran with a sense of doom,

Away from the Castle of Lost in Time

To the safety of my room.

 

I never saw Craig, my friend again,

They scoured the countryside,

Ravaged the ancient Castle grounds,

Questioned me ‘til I cried!

They found him dead in the dungeon

Chained, and lying against the wall,

A piece of flint in a bloodied hand

That had scraped in a childish scrawl:

 

‘May the Devil smite him, through and through,

Mine enemy, Sir Giles FitzHugh!’

 

David Lewis Paget

© 2012 David Lewis Paget


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Featured Review

Oh, I love it! What a romantic soul you are! The perfect symphony of intellect and emotion- and written in a way that is believable(as children mix and match characters from history). I felt I was there playing amongst the ruins. Another beautiful work, David.

Posted 9 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

amazing

Posted 8 Years Ago


Oh my goodness! When I was a little girl I used to pretend I was a musketeer. I also used to pretend I was a horse. I was a weird kid I guess. But I never lost any friends in the midst of a jaunt. This is a scary little tale, Well done!

Posted 8 Years Ago


this is amazing , I am can almost place myself there, really good write keep up the wonderful work.

Posted 9 Years Ago


this is amazing , I am can almost place myself there, really good write keep up the wonderful work.

Posted 9 Years Ago


pretty good

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very well written. The meter you use carries a narrative in a perfect way. For the record, I always enjoyed your work and fully intend to rip off your meter scheme to the best of my ability in the near future. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Another of your works that leaves me humbled. It is your choice of subject, and the very real people you paint into little vignettes of history that get me every time. It is poetry, a history lesson, a sociology class, with a bit of horticulture and psychology all in one write. I always leave your page enlightened and grateful.

Thank you for so selflessly sharing your talent here. You Inspire.


Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I adore the roots that you have in you,
The gift of the quill of old days,
And the sublime way of writing.
Even far away, you still shine like
Those old days sir.
I adore your writes, because
You bring us history, experiences
And great and beautiful insight.

Thank you, and a Dutch bow to Australia,

E.L.


Posted 9 Years Ago


There were so many battles in Great britain over the ages..I know from the Monarch of the Glen..that the old ruins of castles still staand today..Such a beautiful land with so much history it is hard to belive it went on for centuries..You captured this one very well my friend..loved this one..Katihe

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on August 20, 2012
Last Updated on August 20, 2012
Tags: battlements, Cromwell, moat, Normans

Author

David Lewis Paget
David Lewis Paget

Moonta, South Australia, Australia



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