Epithet for an Epitaph

Deep in the darkening forest

the travelling knave

came upon a clearing,

a clearing and a grave

 

There beside a ramshackle hut

a single mossy stone did stand

and written upon it well

cut by a skilled mason’s hand

 

Here lies one hand clapping.

 

Now sheltering against the storm

the knave did enter the hut forlorn

and as the candle now burned bright

strange things came swift and into sight

 

On a lectern carved of finest oak

Their lay a wizard’s velvet cloak

and beneath that mantle rare

lay a tract on all secrets fair

 

A Treatise on the Art of Solitude.

 

He ran his fingers o’er the book

with bated breath began to look

easing back the leather bind

a tale before him did unwind

 

Sat now in the wizard’s chair

he brushed the rain from out his hair

there he sat in the silence of the storm

to learn of things beyond the norm

 

Blessings upon you pilgrim reader.

 

Harken close to read my tale

which speaks to you from the veil

care though for these words will chain

and this shack will be your own domain

 

For should you pass beyond this page

then ‘twill be you, who now the sage.

A curse it is for shoulders new

this is my warning given unto you.

 

Warnings for you oh pilgrim lost.

 

At these words the knave did shiver

he did not want to swim such a river

and so with much a hasty pace

he closed the book away to race

 

He ran out the hut and passed the stone

quick and into the fast falling dark

for he did not want always to be alone

best sleep with trees on a bed of bark

 

When dawn stretched its welcome arms

he sped off to the village near

there spoke of the strange hut of charms

whilst others heard his song with fear

 

Back in the darkened wood

a lonely ghost began to tread

dressed in his magic hood

to lay again his marble bed

 

Here lies one hand clapping.