[ This one is actually one I did for homework, for my AS English Lit class… the task was to write a poem in the style of Robert Browning. It kinda came out more like Rossetti in style but with a Browning storyline… nonetheless, I kind of like it.]
I lived in undeserved shame
by the whole town spurned
A hood I wore to hide my face,
one side of which was burned.
I yearned for a companion,
I felt my heart might break,
and so I sought an audience
with the spectre of the lake.
“I beg of you your help,” I said,
“I live a lonely life –
all I yearn for is a child, but
no man will take me as his wife.
I do not wish to marry,
for men are fickle things –
the village men mock me for fun
and call out words that sting.
I do not want a husband,
a child is all I ask –
I’ll give you anything in return,
I’ll do you any task.
A son to nurse and nurture,
a boy who’ll be by own,
who’ll keep me when I’m old and frail
and he is fully grown.”
The cold wind blew up quite a storm,
but when the waves had cleared
there, dressed in water’s dark green silk,
an infant on the bank appeared.
I plucked him from the water
and wrapped him in my cloak,
but as I held my new son close
to me, the spirit spoke.
“This gift is yours, but here’s your task,
your duty as his mother:
For each year of his life I want
the lifeblood of another.”
My boy is nearing seven now,
and how I love him so;
his green eyes, his auburn hair, the way
his pale skin seems to glow.
And I have done my duty,
I have done my duty well –
one by one I lured them
to the lake when darkness fell
Those men who once would scorn me
or their pretty wives, instead –
both have felt my knife-point
as I watched the lake turn red.
But my work is not yet finished;
my boy is still young yet,
and while the townsfolk’s scornful hearts still beat
my path is clearly set.