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Castle History

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FROM MY CASTLE BALCONY
By
Mrs Bee Wickens (nee Beasley), Senior Historical Advisor, Friends of Elvaston


ln the cold night air and gathering gloom,
The dark mist swirled from it's watery tomb;
Gyrating towards, then receding and taunting,
As if holding some creature, pleadingly haunting.
On the balcony roof-top I leaned o'er the wall,
Straining my eyes to comprehend all;
Was there a maiden there in its midst
Trying to reach me, but couldn't resist
The tenuous strands, like the web of a spider
Drawing her back to ensnare and deride her?

Did I imagine, or, was that a cry?
The harsh laugh of cock pheasant, or witch flying by
Waving her broomstick, cackling with mirth
At an unfortunate's fate, swallowed up in dank earth?
I drew back in terror; of what, I don't know,
But Fear, brushing closer, demanded I go!
No longer to wonder what captive needs aid,
One thought crowding my mind, so sore afraid!
Turning, I stumbled blindly away......
I shall not return till light of new day!

Then I will wonder of what there's to fear,
For the scenery's so lovely and the lake glistens clear;
How could I have thought that evil lurked there,
For the sun's warming rays dispersed every care!
Yet, e'er the sun set and darkness drew near,
Back swirled the mists and back came the fear;
The cries, sighs and swishes accompany again
The vague sinuous movements, of what, I can't ken!
Cold fingers gripping, robbing all joy
And feeling so bold that I could earlier employ!

My view had two faces, I had to admit;
It's dark and it's light side never would fit;
Never they'd blend, one with the other;
So, I must accept and, my fears, try to smother!

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