- One Last Embrace -
Being a Tragedy in Five Parts
Part the First – Water of Thirst...
A knight there was, of Arthurian times; he did ride forth out of Camelot,
In search of a meaning to his life’s long years: spent in bloody conflicts.
He felt a hunger in his heart, stronger than any he knew when he fought,
His hunger was to put his sword aside, and live a life of peace and bliss.
He found none in the monastery, where rigid order brought nothing fair,
He found none amongst the peasantry, whose lives were short and hard.
He found none by the seaside where sailors left for their perils elsewhere,
And he found none in the fields and mountains where soldiers yet warred.
In all the lands of Christendom, there was for this knight no peace to find,
And of bliss but fleeting moments too soon gone, as better off left behind.
At the last, he came to a land most desolate, where parched was the earth,
Where mournfully cried the wolf at night, and owls called without any mirth.
Part the Second – Fire of Hunger...
Across the wasteland, the knight rode forth, coming rough to a place far,
Beyond the bounds of those he knew, where so foreign was soil and star!
Upon the edge of thirst and death, his steed long lost in a blighted field,
His armor cast aside, so he could breathe, he carried not even his shield.
Only his sword and his honor remained, to name him knight in any way,
And that, too, would be at an end if longer stretched the heat of that day.
When the afternoon sky painted a canvas of rose and gold on the horizon,
The knight did give up his will, and let darkness take him hard thereupon.
A timeless expanse of naught passed, and in this oblivion the knight lay,
Uncertain of the time or place of his repose, in utter darkness he did stay.
Feeling water upon his lips, his eyes by instinct let themselves see again,
A vast cavern beneath the earth: containing crypts, of many valiant men.
Part the Third – Earth of Desire...
She was not tall, the one who gave him the drink that saved his life thus,
Her skin was like unto bronze, and her hair was darker than any midnight.
She was clothed in black to match her hair, with a scarlet girdle to truss,
About her, the gauzy fabrics of her gown, which seemed to absorb light.
Her voice was lilting, with an accent very different from those of Briton,
Yet somehow delightful to the knight’s ear, as the woman spoke to him.
' Rise, fallen knight of a kingdom unknown to my people, rise ye again,
And taste the fruits of your desire, knowing not regret, and less of sin! '
It was then the knight knew terror within his heart; his breath was gone,
Whilst upon his neck were the marks of the undead, bloody thereupon.
The meaning of the cave in which he awoke was all too clear to his will,
He never came living to the crypts; he had not survived his harsh ordeal.
Part the Fourth – Air of Doom...
He was much changed from the knight he once was, as the years passed,
And his love for the Dark Lady grew to an obsession that eternal did last.
The pair dwelling down amongst the dead, knowing more of love’s heat,
Than the air that scorched the land above, where the sun’s rays did beat.
The blood of jackals and serpents sustained the vampire lovers for ages,
In their underground domain, unseen and unknown even by wisest sages.
' If our kind live forever, Dark Lady, will the final judgment, thus condemn,
Or find us deserving of paradise, when upon this world comes an end? '
This question did the knight so venture, one eve when bats circled on air,
Blown as if from out some netherworld, come hither to screech and stare.
' If there be a power so cruel in existence that frowns on love immortal,
Then I am proud to count myself it’s foe, and would gladly go to a hell. '
Part the Fifth – Spirit of Passion...
It was not long until from Camelot a party came seeking after the knight,
Believing him long lost on some quest, within the wasteland’s arid blight.
At last arriving near the cave over which loomed mountains old and dark,
It’s entrance adorned with pillars decorated by carved entwining dragons.
They heard his voice within, calling forth for them to so leave and depart,
Thinking him a wraith, they decided to investigate, and left their wagons.
' If they come and find us vampires, as we are, they will slay us terribly,
So let us walk into the sunlight, embracing one final time in our dignity. '
Thus spoke the knight to his lady, and they came forth from the darkness,
In full view of the party from Camelot, bursting aflame in the sun’s light.
Leaving those assembled to wonder, at knowing ever after much distress,
Recalling the final embrace of the two vampires laughing in final delight.