The forest, silent and still, waits.
‘Tis Midsummer’s Eve and soon my fate will unfold.
Not the sweet and merry tale Shakespeare told but
A dark and chilling fate I did not earn.
Listen and learn not to scorn the elder tales
Whispered and sung when the world was young.
My father, late and lost
Was caught up, to his cost,
By the Wild Ride.
Snatched up and swept along
By that hellish throng of hunters
Led by the Forest Lord.
As that fiendish throng cavorted
He was supported by an elven maid
Who rode at his side.
And so he survived ’til sunrise
and chose her as his prize.
it was fated….they loved…
And I was created.
My mother, marked as the Huntsman’s bride,
was destined to rule at his side, his queen.
Fairest of the Tuatha de’,
He claimed her… despite her nay.
She took her chance, escaped his vice
And did not consider the price
Her child would pay.
Now snatched from his grasp
His hatred seethed and grew
He swore what ‘ere befell
I would take her place in Hell.
I am the unpaid debt.
wyrd and human hybrid get.
Night has fallen and, once more,
I await the call. Prepare to cheat fate
And deny him, as before.
The horn sounds as the Ride draws near
And my fear chokes me.
Hooves pound, horses neigh
And, in this witching hour,
I pray for salvation as his
Hellhounds bray and prowl,
Growling, sniffing for my scent.
Hell-bent on offering me to their Lord.
With eyes closed against the glamour
I still hear the clamour of their Hellish glee
And the whispered call, drear and fell,
“…come, come… the Master waits…
Ride with us to the gates of Hell…”
Stillness, silence, the night has passed.
A fair morn has dawned at last
And I am safe for yet another year.
But the Huntsman does not forget
Nor is he forgiving.
He rules the shades and hunts the living.
Unless death snatches away my soul
I am his eternal goal, his sworn revenge.
But I will cheat him yet!
I will forgo what all maids crave.
I will live apart, deny my heart
And go untouched to my grave.
I will not beget a child to this unholy debt.
© Susan E. Birch
Excerpt from the book Ancient Whispers
About the Author
When Susan was eleven years old a teacher, knowing her love of Literature and History, gave her a copy of The Complete Works of Shakespeare and a poetry anthology both of which changed her life. When she opened the book of poetry it naturally fell open at a page on which was a poem called ‘The Cloths of Heaven’ by W.B. Yeats. She read it and was stunned as it was the first time words had actually drawn a picture in her mind. Later, reading the book of Shakespeare, she found Sonnet 18’ and found the answer to why poets wrote poetry. From then on she was an avid reader of poetry and fell in love with the classical poets.
Visit Susan’s Author Page At: www.ctupublishinggroup.com/susan-e.-birch-.html