At the edges of Time, in a far distant land,
Where daylight and dark meet with seaside and sand
At the top of a cliffside, hidden from sight
The lair of Death lies shrouded in night.
Lord Death was Old when Mankind was new;
All life that there is passes under his view
Whatever will be, whatever has been
There’s nothing, not one thing, that Death hasn’t seen.
That is until one day, to Death’s great surprise,
A sight never seen chanced to enter his eyes
For in all the long years that Death dwelt in his hall,
Never had Lady Love paid him a call…
To describe Love as strange – that is easy to say
Love goes about things in Her own unique Way.
And though she looks like many young ladies do,
To say she’s like anything else rings untrue.
For those who have looked into Lady Love’s eyes,
Have said that they glitter like stars in the skies.
The color of amber, they glow golden light
That pierces the gloom of the darkest of nights.
But, no matter how brightly Love’s golden eyes shined
She could not hide the sadness that lingered behind…
She said to Lord Death, “I arrive without warning,
In the lands that have never been touched by the morning
I hope you’ll forgive me this brazen intrusion,
And my rudely invading your private seclusion.
Death gave a bow, and he offered his hand
And said “I welcome your light in the Shadowy Lands
I’m honored that you’ve come to visit me here
It’s truly a pleasure having Lady Love near.”
Into the expanse of his hall Love was led
Through the elegant home of Lord of the Dead
In through the parlor, then out the back door
To a breathtaking garden overlooking the shore.
Love looked around and was truly enchanted
By the seaside oasis that Lord Death had planted.
And all of the beauty surrounding the place,
Caused the briefest of smiles to dance on Love’s face.
Death bade her to linger and rest for a bit
As he pulled out a chair and then asked her to sit.
He watched her a moment, and was truly amazed
By the sadness that dimmed the light held in Love’s gaze.
“My dear Lady Love, what all can Death do
To uplift this terrible sorrow from you?
Tell me, what has your sweet heart in such pain,
And how I can help you to smile again?
“Death, you are older than even the world
And before you the tableau of time is unfurled
Whatever will be, whatever has been
There’s nothing, not one thing, that you haven’t seen.
“I am looking for something, where it is I don’t know
But I hope you can tell me where it is I should go
For I’ve searched all the world from Far out to Wide
To seek out the places where Fairy Tales hide.
“Please tell me, Lord Death, where are creatures that play?
And pass time conversing the hours away.
And Myths that took place on the outside of the books
And the Mysteries that dwelled in each cranny and nook?
“Where have they gone, the gods and wizards,
The nixies and pixies and fire-breath lizards?
And also the maidens who swooned at the sight
Of their Prince’s returning back home from the fight?
“Where now are the worlds where giants would roam?
The Ancient Lands witches and kings made their home?
Avalon, Tir Na Nog, where did they go?
Death, can you tell me? I’m sure you must know.
Death said, “My Lady, it pains me to say,
The Creatures of Myth have all gone on their way.
For you see, Lady Love, these things could not stay
In an Everyday World that forgot how to play.
“When the world became busied with sorrows and wars
Herne and the Mist Hounds stopped hunting the moors
And the legends and heroes and creatures of Lore
Left for friendlier worlds through a Magical Door.
“Where is this door, Death? And is there a key?
If you have one perhaps you would lend it to me?
For I’d so like to live in the lands of the Fey,
Among beings who still like to laugh and to play.
“Here they pursue only fortune and fame,
And when things don’t go right, someone else is to blame.
They never seem happy, or to like who they are,
And they’ve stopped making wishes at wells and on stars.
“They don’t know themselves, let alone one another
And cause so much suffering and hurt to each other.
The World is filled up with such great misery
That so few of them still even recognize me.
“I have to confess that I feel out of place
And lonely among all the vast Human Race
So perhaps I should live where the other Myths go
To find someone to play all the games that I know.
Death listened closely to all that Love said,
Then stood up in silence, started shaking his head.
The thought that had struck brought a tear to his eye:
His dear Lady Love had wanted to die.
The thought of Love lost? Death couldn’t abide,
It felt like a dagger thrust into his side.
The problem he knew, was colossal in scope,
The world as it was had drained Love of all hope.
Death understood all the folly of man
And their fear of a world that they don’t understand
But he knew without doubt that Love passed between them,
Was the only thing left in their world that redeemed them.
Her loss would be tragic, a dear price to pay.
Perhaps he could give her a reason to stay.
Death looked to Love, her gaze casted down.
So he took to his knee as he sank to the ground.
He lifted her chin, his eyes locked to hers,
And then spoke to love the following words:
“Sweet Lady, this world need not be left behind
To seek all the magic you’re wishing to find
For the Door to the Worlds of the lost Legend-Kind
Exists nowhere else but inside of the mind.
Hear me, My Lady – I earnestly pray,
That you give full attention to all that I say,
For I do have the key, I can show you the way
To open the doors to the worlds where they play.
“The way you may pass through this Mythical Portal
Is to be something far beyond anything mortal,
And enjoy the adventure and freedom and glory
Being more than person and becoming a STORY.
“For a story knows not its own wrongness or rightness,
Nor gives thought to things like its darkness or lightness
A story cares not for the way it unfolds,
A story just asks for chance to be told.
Love thought for a moment, as if she would speak,
But she leaned in and planted a kiss on Death’s cheek.
Whatever the thought, he never did know,
But he saw that she smiled as she got up to go.
For a long time Death wondered, after Love went her way
If she’d heard everything he was trying say.
That Love was a magic unique in a world
That desperately needed that dear Little Girl…
Whatever her feelings, they never did show,
And he never did ask, though he wanted to know.
Her thoughts as she left were to anyone’s guessing
But to see Love leave smiling…Death thought that blessing.
One day in his garden, Death sat in the shade
And pondered the world that Humanity made,
Where Lady Love must ask the dread Lord of Strife
To teach her the secrets of Meaning and Life.
When off in the distance arose a great sound,
That grew as a shadow passed over the ground
Death looked up and smiled, and laughed when he spied
Love on a Dragon racing off through the sky…
Copyright 2005-2013 Harlequinn Bell