The Song of Dalsarion: Two

Posted on 02/11/2011 by


They were all very silent, still, as Dalis eased himself back
to the uncertain ground.
He looked at them, tried to meet their faces.
Though they would not meet him,
one for one they would meet each other’s look.
What would they say
to that?

Then quietly and from the back,
one hand was held raised
and, in quivering-voice
the first goblin told his tale.
And the tale he told was this:

‘A Goblin stood.
He told them of the Man in the Moon
–though they had all heard that one before,
and besides, thought Dal,
I know a thousand more.
To my listeners the Moon becomes a girl
her heart so light, so bright
it is the very fire of the night!
And her so glad of the darkened eve,
those moths of suitors were not drawn
to her flesh. Not given light.
No. She danced to her own spot.
Man nor poet could ask of her,
could not take that love.
Only be dazzled by her
Never. To be forgiven
or salved of
their own burnt lust
—and that was why none could ever trust
the Moon.

Dalis could not help this—very silent—commentary on their tales.
More. As a young woman Goblin, recited a muddled version
of a time when Dalis’ own life hung
in the hands of the Terrible Tritons.
Another, as three disparate knights battled the Decadent Demon of Dantraith,
by a curse’d baronies’ castle.
And though that tale was rather hot
in some places, there was a growing
apathy. Not of the stories, but of the telling.
They were tired these Goblins.

As one would drop off, his fellows would then wake him
Yet soon gone, that waking Goblin in turn
he would droop,
and his friends and his mates they may let him sleep, longer. Then wake–

It was during the spell of the story of the boy of the Flute
of the Harlington Grove,
that Sir Dalis
he noticed something new. Captured into a tale he did not know
he was surprised to hear it fade away.
And summoned from his trance of the telling so rudely as it had ended
he looked around.
And Lo’ and Behold, though the night was still young
—by the youthful standards of Sir Dalis—
every single Goblin he found asleep.

Now taking this as sign, for Sir Dalis was no fool,
he made quick his silent re-fleet.
As he left he was thinking of the ending of that telling that he was never hearing
by that Goblin Horde.
It was a shame he thought, ‘for that was rather good.
But I am sure that I will hear it again
at some other fire-sided night.’

This is what he thought as he left their cave,
yet never did he hear that one’s end
–the end of the boy of the flute of the Harlington Grove.

He snuck off,
on his quest for the Golden Bough.

In the morning when the Goblins woke,
they rose to find their guest to be gone
and they were furious! –He’d left without a word.

And the Hundred Goblins set with to march
upon a village that they knew to be near
and suspected he may have head to.

When they got to that place
they found the whole peoples there, out seeming
to be waiting–fair on them.
Now they did not appear to be frightened,
one even approached,
taking from his left pocket a note.
Then reading as Sir Dalis had written,
this village in his voice said:
‘Now you, Goblins, are become my tale!’

At this then, Goblins being vain things
–above all else–
they fell-back congratulating themselves. After-all
they felt,
this tale had been all they could have hoped it to be…

And do you know what they did then?
Well, do you?’

I waited for the suggestions to die away.

‘Well, I do not.
And that was how it was told.
To me.’
And that was it, ‘The End.’

There were some odd grumblings at this
but overall
a satisfaction.
For they all knew, that this was how
a travelling-teller always ended
his night be done, with one
from his tangled bag of hooks.

‘Well!’ I said,
‘I must off to bed.’
And my audience, done with their encores, let me.

I had some help in collecting my pieces;
my music makers.
By my three-strong audience
—by default it must be the entire inn,
but would that fair to say? They drifted in…
and all but they had drifted out…
Instead, two youths and a pretty young woman
thanked me.
While chatting with them I nodded to the men who had paid my drinking
for the night–to better soothe a word-dry throat.

While the maiden and I, we shared our smiles.
As we talked and I waxed-poetic,
I met the boy’s eyes and let them follow mine.
We two tugged and fought for the brightness of his gaze
that had not been there, earlier the day.

And I retired to my room for the night.

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Posted in: Dalsarion, Paul