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The Stone

The Tale below was carved one night
Upon the Stone, by candlelight
...most won’t believe, but some just might
.........most won’t believe, but some just might



                         Preface

Well James made Beth his lovely bride
(And angels smiled, though teary eyed)
...their bodies bound, their spirits tied
.........their bodies bound, their spirits tied

Upon her hand, a shimmer shone,
As bright as blood, a ruby Stone 
...and brighter still, as love had grown
.........and brighter still, as love had grown

Soon James was sent to man a sail
So Beth removed her wedding veil
...her eyes were moist, her face was pale 
.........her eyes were moist, her face was pale

“Well, I’ll be here when you return”
Said Beth to James, who kissed in turn
...a kiss that made her body burn
.........a kiss that made her body burn



                         BETH’S TALE

1.              The Dream

One night, within a dream deformed,
The cawing of a Crow informed
“...the Ship was struck where winter stormed
.........the Ship was struck where winter stormed

Midst winds and waves the thunder boomed
The Ship of Death was surely doomed
...the sea engulfed, the surf entombed
.........the sea engulfed, the surf entombed

Your James… deceived by Davy Jones! 
With spirit freed, his flesh and bones
...now rest amongst the ashen Stones
.........now rest amongst the ashen Stones” 



2.               The Quest

Awoken by the ebon Wight
And beckoned by the baneful bight
...I left before the morning light
.........I left before the morning light

Throughout the realm I rode a roan
Until, in time, I reached the Stone
...where shades in dreams of darkness groan 
.........where shades in dreams of darkness groan 

While skipping up and down the sky
A missing moonbeam mocked my eye
...enough to make a Swallow cry
.........enough to make a Swallow cry

For someone stole a star or two
And something else that fate withdrew -
 ...my jewel of joy, my James Bijou   
.........my jewel of joy, my James Bijou

The shadows of the evening swelled
Where demons of the dusk had dwelled
...and in the far, a vesper knelled
.........and in the far, a vesper knelled

The Stone, beneath the sky, stood cold -
Between the runes, a vapour strolled
...a cloak of fleecy fog consoled
.........a cloak of fleecy fog consoled

A Raven on a branch, enthroned,
Her wings waved once, a wail intoned
...beyond the bay, a banshee moaned
.........beyond the bay, a banshee moaned

I lay beside the Stone, his bride
I lay beside the Stone and cried
...but were it I, instead, that died
.........but were it I, instead, that died

The rainbow of the moon fell dim
A midnight Swan soon ceased to swim
...as if to hide all hint of him
.........as if to hide all hint of him

Between the willows in the swale
Bewailed a Bird, a Nightingale
...which left me faint, my body frail
.........which left me faint, my body frail



3.              Contact

I felt him breathe within a breeze  
Responding to my anguished pleas
...and leaves blew by abandoned trees
.........and leaves blew by abandoned trees

“Eternal love, my darling Beth” 
Enshrined within a final breath 
...re-echoed from the Ship of Death
.........re-echoed from the Ship of Death 

The Stone lit up a ruby sheen
And clouds were kindled crystalline
...with consequences, unforeseen
.........with consequences, unforeseen

Above, a wretched Raven soared
To where the Ship of Death’d been moored
...below, the icy ocean roared
.........below, the icy ocean roared



4.               Release

I’m joined with James beneath the Stone,
Though to the Ship my spirit’s flown,
...for nevermore to be alone
.........for nevermore to be alone



                         Epilogue
That night the wayward winds were weird 
The Ship of Death had disappeared
...coyotes called and mortals feared
.........coyotes called and mortals feared

At dusk, the craven shadows crawled
At dawn, the winds of mourning called
...upon the Stone two names were scrawled
.........upon the Stone two names were scrawled

The Raven sits, with wings outspread,
Atop the Stone which shades the dead
...it sometimes shimmers ruby red
.........it sometimes shimmers ruby red



                         Epitaph
Between the sounds, where silence seeps,
Their love lives on and never sleeps
...and yet, the weeping willow weeps
.........and yet, the weeping willow weeps

Copyright © | Year Posted 2013




Post Comments
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Date: 2/23/2019 2:50:00 PM
Hello Terry O'Leary, I read your poem and found it to be so sad. Have a nice day my friend.
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Date: 12/28/2017 10:55:00 PM
That's quite lovely. I can sing it.
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Date: 9/28/2017 6:19:00 AM
I am in total awe of this fantastic piece! Truly exceptional poetry and straight to my fav list this gem goes!
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Date: 3/8/2017 2:35:00 PM
If there's a book entitled "Great Poets of Our Age", your picture probably graces the cover! Wonderful poem
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Date: 3/4/2017 3:27:00 PM
Love this tale of love and sorrow :)
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Date: 5/6/2016 11:12:00 AM
A great congratulation my lovely friend, bl
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Date: 5/6/2016 10:44:00 AM
That's really awesome!! It felt like a micro-novel... Congrats Terry, for your top placement in the contest!! ;-)
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Date: 5/5/2016 7:12:00 PM
What an amazing ballad, Terry! I enjoyed reading this so much. Congratulations on your well-deserved First Place win in Casarah's contest. Sandra
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Date: 5/4/2016 10:17:00 PM
Terry, I'm a fan! This is as good as anything I've read on the Soup - or anywhere else for that matter. Exquisite!
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Date: 5/4/2016 9:10:00 PM
I normally shy away from longer writes, but this, wow, you got my attention from line one and it flowed so smoothly, so magnificently through the story that reading it was a pleasure. This was awesome, well done Terry. ;)
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Date: 5/3/2016 5:49:00 PM
Wow, I love this. It flows so well and the story was enthralling. Gets a 7 from this guy. -G
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Date: 2/23/2016 6:59:00 PM
This is probably one of the most exquisite poems I've ever read. The use of repetition gave the poem great impact and made the entire piece memorable. Well done!
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Date: 2/19/2016 2:23:00 PM
Wonderful ballad, Terry. You've used the poetic device of repetition to excellent effect. An easy seven.
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Date: 2/18/2016 6:58:00 PM
Love the rhyme, the rhythm and the those Poeish (my word), seafaring lines. Did you repeat the end of each stanza for effect or for some alternate purpose?
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Date: 2/12/2016 2:48:00 PM
A superb write, Terry. The flow is exception with wonderful rhyme and the repeated last line is the perfect summation of the entire piece with beautiful unforced alliteration
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Date: 2/12/2016 11:46:00 AM
Lovely dark tale Terry
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Date: 2/12/2016 2:06:00 AM
Hi Terry, I love this epic tale of loss and sorrow. A truly inspired piece of writing!. Makes me think of Poe at his best. More power to your pen my friend- Fantastic!.
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Date: 2/11/2016 5:49:00 PM
And four more words, excellent, awesome, lyrical and Poignant
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Date: 2/11/2016 2:10:00 PM
Hi, Terry. So happy I found you and your fabulous poetry. What and Epic? I love poetry that tell stories, and this one is SENSATIONAL!! I too, from time-to-time tell stories in poetry. Perhaps one you might like is entitled. 'The Devil's Tide'.
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Date: 2/11/2016 1:51:00 PM
Just one word Awesome
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Date: 2/11/2016 1:49:00 PM
Great stories as well, I had an epic...but really inexperienced as far as putting it together. Maybe, reading your writing could help...thanks
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Date: 2/11/2016 1:46:00 PM
Reallyv"wowed" by you're work Terry. I hope to one day be as good as you. Really like you're style, and it's like they say...hard writing makes for easy reading, so I'm sure it took you time. As of late I've been busy, and really " drawing a blank " in regards to what I should write about...take care.
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Date: 2/11/2016 1:36:00 PM
Just a fantastic epic poem. A little long for my personal taste but still a masterful piece of art. Well done, Terry
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Date: 2/11/2016 1:22:00 PM
Its a beautiful piece, flowing nicely and so intriguing and interesting, well worth the read, loved it
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Date: 2/11/2016 1:20:00 PM
Well rendered verse. Gracefully done. It's nice to see someone has joined me in the modern movement of lyrical poetry.
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