Saturday, November 3, 2012

Life and Other Miracles XIV

An especially long poem, in the spirit of Halloween. Beware!


The Kingston Cavaliers

Gather round, ye children, this eve is of all Hallowed men
and Hallowed souls of Heaven. Before the feast of Heaven
it is said that devils roam the world to wreck havoc, before
the truce of God that stays even the wicked in their lair.

Come close, for night abounds with visions that would
make the weaker man cringe in fright. All unseen for one
night becomes visible, as much as men can bear. Tonight
then, I shall tell ye of the legend of the Kingston Cavaliers.

You know this wood is known as Indian Wells, but scarce
know why and how it got its name. Long ago the first nations
of this land found their home here: a village and tribe many
and peaceful, untouched by the disease of the Englishmen.

Those farmers that came into the mountains made peace,
and were friendly to their neighbors. And this valley,
blessed by God gave plenty to them both: prosperity and
happiness filled the people, until the war of independence.

Then the farmers were called to arms, and brother against
brother set, one for Crown and other for Congress fought,
calling the first nations to their side. The nation of the valley
chose no side, but gave aid and comfort to the loyal of the King.

When the regimen called Kingston Cavaliers was coming up
to fight at Saratoga’s hills, they switched to fight for George
of Washington, and vowed vengeance upon the allied of the
Brits. Through the valley, friendly to the King, they pillaged.

At last they came to the village here, known by the English
as Indian Wells, for the river-land and hills were filled with
wells of sweet and flowing water. Land so rich lay here that
it swelled with fruit and gave onto the people rich harvest.

So with lust of greed in eye, they ransacked the village, these
men known as the Kingston Cavaliers: raping and slaughtering,
babe from mother was pried, thrown into well and river alike
to die with the nation: massacre done by brutal sword and fire.

One family escaped with child just like you: last son and last
daughter of the people of the valley. Looking at earth and home
razed by marauders they cried: O God, these monsters lay low,
let your justice be done, and this land curse with rock and sceptre!

The Just Lord gave them safe conduct through the night, to
their allies in the West, but then turned to the Kingston Cavaliers,
sleeping sound after feast of corn, pig, goat, and squash taken
from the ruins, lying as if mocking high heaven with treachery.

God said: “This sentence I pronounce against the Kingston
Cavaliers: not one of them showed mercy, not one shall taste
My Mercy. All shall die from brother saber in their slumber,
and roam the Earth as exiles until they burn in eternal fire.”

Thereupon a Yankee company spotted the Kingston Cavaliers,
and taking their chance within the night, killed each redcoat with
cut of saber to the heart. By the mourning the massacre was
doubled, the land a hellscape, a place filled with despair and sorrow.

The Cavaliers laid unburied, and by some divine Punishment,
their remains turned into stone, and sunk beneath the rich earth.
It rocky tract of land became, an unsuitable farm, until some
American bought these hills, and pulled again from them grain.

But all that lived here had no peace, all who farmed saw strange
and harrowing sight as the plowed the ground: mother with child
on her back walking listless in the night, a mouthless cry of child,
even the spontaneous fire that brightened distant phantom house.

Men have died of strange poison in the ancient wells found,
blood instead of water was spurting from the ground. And all
these horrors multiply on eve of Hallows-day, as you roam
the roads in search of sweet treats, in festive and merry garb.

Yea, beware! Beware the sceptres of the accursed Kingston
Cavaliers! I dare ye step outside the threshold of house in
the darkest hour of the night, or even be away from bed
and ready light then: lest you hear their whisper that heart stops.  

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