Twisted and bent, the wraith is lord

Phillip A. Ellis

Twisted and bent, the wraith is lord
under its barrow, hiding sword,
   targe, cuirass, greaves, vambraces, an array
of gold, jewels and gems in a hoard
ancient, worth more than any gaud;
   twisted and bent, the wraith remains, to stay
within its dark demesne of death,
its ancient barrow, cold, bereft
   of any life. Within its twisted way,
the wraith exults, loathing all breath,
and, to whispered dreams of love, deaf,
   forever hating life, light, and the day.

Seek not the barrow: death’s within,
twisted it lies, reeking of sin
   deeper than petty whims of mortal man.
Seek not the barrow under whin,
forego the thought of breaking in
   unless you wish to dock your futile span
in seeking out death, cold and grim,
casting to winds your breath, to dim,
   twisted shadows of unlife. Stay, O man,
cast away not life on a whim,
the wraith awaits, dreadful in limb,
   within its baleful barrow black and dank.

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