The Shrine in the Graveyard
The Shrine In The Graveyard
Conjecture now thou wouldest try-
Of things thou mayest not know.
The somnolence of things long gone,
Conceals from thou their sorrow.
Ignorant thou art of things to them-
Like a river that usurps from the ground-
The sands that upon it lies needed-
That maliciously took ne'er to be found.
Given was there thought to such effects?
Of the evil thought against their beings?
But now their rest do retain in peace;
The good egg that is cracked has no curing.
Yon in the graveyard, art there not two?
Who have understanding of each other?
Wilt thou behold their labors now ceased?
Hardship's attention do they not bother.
But lo! Though they be all gone away,
Must you be ignorant of their own life?
I can stand and see it in mine heart-
The pain, and the sorrow, and all the strife.
Their wails do not cease to speak to me,
In the shadows I can see their faces.
Dead hands reach forth and now clutch at me.
To drag me back to their chosen places.
Now thou would think that I am insane,
Of better disposition I be not!
I only know of untold horror,
Of the plague set against their troubled lot.
They would all have me to know of it-
The strong, secret love that they once did share.
And the way that their hearts were thus broke-
How that they were parted in death's cruel snare.
I understood. How thus could I not?
Thinkest me quick to forget all my past?
The evil wounds. Be they not all healed?
But they come to make the blood run fast.
As the subtle, peaceful breeze does blow,
During this sacred, full October night,
They beckon me swiftly to step forth,
From the woods to under the moon so bright.
And how now would I thus disobey?
How am I not becoming one of them?
They do meanest me not any harm;
They would not commit any acts gruesome.
He doth appear so grand in his suit!
And how shouldest I mention her fine dress?
They come together and thus embrace-
For the coffin made not their strong love less.
Now hand in hand they swoop through the air!
Feet off the ground o'er the lake they dance,
To the strains of Hell's bitter music,
They relive one night's ill-fated romance.
I watch in fascinated wonder-
As over the glassy lake they do glide.
The magic night, how it is so long!
Fitting, how that this story not subside.
But thus it may be not over yet.
This grand dance that for me they now perform.
They would that I know the whole story,
And not be limited to the good form.
Hark, lo! I see a figure coming!
I figure that I wouldest think be doom.
He glides as swiftly as the fierce hawk,
And to the couple comes he so soon.
He taketh on a new appearance!
Thus away from the dark shroud that he is.
He is a solider now, poised to kill!
Bearing a sharp sword that is none but his.
The dancing couple do see him not!
Neither when he deftly raises his sword.
High above the man's head doth it go-
A sight to which you would speak not a word.
Down comes the sword, a malicious thing,
And thus nimbly cleaves his head into two.
The sight I would nobody to see!
Lest in them psychosis would break anew.
I fell on my knees, I want no more!
Please good spirits do leave me now alone!
Since the pain you have come to haunt me,
To make me understand why thus you moan.
But look not I away from the scene!
The scene 'twas the true story of their life.
The story that they dast not to share,
Save for those who endured hardship and strife.
The claven man hath now just fallen.
And the vile soldier disappears from view.
And oh! For the shrieking and the wails!
From the lady and the spirits not few.
On my knees I raise aloft my voice!
And I decry the evil name of doom!
Out with my knife I prepare to kill-
The evil presence whose cloud becomes gloom.
Now the lady doth glide forth to me-
And now for once I can see her true face.
A face to which such fate is so vile-
Beauty will be gone, despair in its place.
She speaks, "Wilt thou now come to the shrine?"
"The shrine that I have prepared for his name?"
"The shrine will give you understanding,"
"Knowledge about your life shalt you then gain."
I nod, what thus could make me resist?
And we both glide through the misty night air.
O'er the countless dead we flit by,
My mind is troubled by a thought it bears.
There was something I saw in her face-
A recognition that I do not know-
A thought that perhaps I once met her-
From a time that is now so long ago.
And now we fly forth, forth to the shrine!
And her presence, it leaveth me for now.
The shrine, I see, is a large gravestone,
Before which many fine flowers do grow.
I kneel down, and a soft voice doth speak,
A voice that is filled with wisdom and grace.
"The spirits, they are all in thy head,"
"The voices of the doomed, they fill this place."
"And now, oh small man, look before you!"
Gaze upon the stone before which you kneel!"
"Thou wilt then know the power of fate,
And of that of which it may never steal!"
I stand up and push my way forward-
Against a growing dread that I now feel.
I stoop to peer at the words written,
Upon this gray gravestone, a shrine so real.
I read first the name of the good man,
Of whose deed will always be forgotten.
Now for the lady, I feel her still!
Me thinks that she resides close still watching.
Now the blood runs fast out from my eyes!
A knife is turned inside of my old heart.
A flood is let loose inside my head!
And the haunting nagging there does it start.
There lies my love, my one and only!
It was you that I could ne'er be with!
And though I moved on, you always were-
The one of which my heart did speaketh.
Now my voice doth join the wailing dead,
Of who cold hands did reach out to clutch me.
Of whose voices did try to tell me-
Of the things that thou would not want to see.
For here in the graveyard, at the shrine,
I will speak the truth of the doomed, dead ones.
That fate cometh to everyone,
It taketh that which would be left by none.
It would ne'er spare its cruel blows-
They fall upon the back of the unknown.
It blinds the eyes of those who would see-
So that good in this world will be not sown.