Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

Something A Bit Spooky For Halloween

This has elements of tradition in it but mainly I made it up. Hadlow Castle is, however, a real place

                                   THE BLACKSMITH'S DAUGHTER


                                    How strange it is

                                    That the blacksmith's daughter

                                    Should marry the master

                                    Of Hadlow Castle.

                                    He shut her up

                                    In a windowless room

                                    But she picked the locks

                                    And ran off with her lover.


                                    Day after day

                                    He climbed the tower

                                    To train a glass

                                    On her cottage gable.

                                    Seven years passed

                                    Then out he rode

                                    To find the twins

                                    At their mother's door.


                                    He let them pat

                                    The grey mare's neck.

                                    He let them climb

                                    To the saddlebow.

                                    He has cut their throats

                                    By the Toadstone rock.

                                    I have served you, Janet,

                                    As you served me.


                                    What are those voices in the air?

                                    Only the swallows building.

                                    What are those voices in the earth?

                                    Only the river running.


                                    She wrapped herself

                                    In her lover's coat.

                                    She walked out barefoot

                                    In the dew.

                                    She followed the river

                                    To its source

                                    And there two swallows

                                    Flew from a stone.


                                    Mother, we cannot

                                    Sleep at night;

                                    Our narrow bones

                                    Are so full of fever.

                                    Our killer walks in Tunbridge Wells

                                    Among the gentlemen

                                    Of  leisure.


                                    She took a dagger

                                    Of Spanish steel.

                                    She painted her face

                                    Like a Pump Room beauty.

                                    He stooped to chuck her

                                    Under the chin

                                    And she cut him open

                                    From crotch to neckbone.


                                    Rest, rest, my children

                                    Under your stone

                                    Where swallows flit

                                    Of a summer's morning.

                                    I will lie

                                    Where two roads cross

                                    With the wheels going over

                                    My head forever.

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