The Epic of Solemnon XIV

XIV

He entered through tall double doors,

Into the giant hall,

Ringed with pillars, richly carved,

And torches on the wall.

 

In the flick’ring firelight,

He caught the gleaming shine,

Of a polished, coal-black throne,

Exquisite, tall and fine.

 

And there upon its velvet seat,

A ghastly figure sat,

Resting calmly, still as ice.

Asleep, that evil rat.

 

Solemnon knew, all at once,

Who the dreamer was,

The shadow half, the Thanator,

The one of evil cause.

 

In a rush, he felt less weak,

And grabbed a burning torch.

Rushing at the Thanator,

Who wakened at the scorch.

 

Solemnon reasoned that the torch,

With heat and fiery light,

Could destroy the Thanator,

And it seemed it might.

 

In surprise the Thanator,

Recoiled into the throne,

And found himself without escape,

And pled in slith’ring tone:

 

Ssstop thissssilly sssport!

Isss thisss how you repay,

The sssimple sssoul who sssaved your life,

Sssincerely yesterday?

 

“Silence Fiend!” Solemnon cried.

“That save was by design,

To capture me and to steal,

My sword and shield fine.”

 

I sssee, It said in slurring speech,

It ssseems that you have won,

Ssso what can I offer you,

To sssalvage what I’ve done.

 

“My request I now present,

And simply it is there:

That thou release the pris’ners all,

Unto my care and trust.”

 

“And as well I would my sword,

And shield be returned,

That I may be left in peace,

Else thou shalt be burned.”

 

Concede I do. As well I mussst,

But bargainsss reciprocate.

And ssso I mussst present my termsss,

To shhhut the Promise’s gate.

 

Will you, O Hero, Sssstrong and Brave,

Accept thisss gift from me.

A bracelet forged in deepest flamesss,

Enchanted ssskillfully.

 

“To protect itsss wearer fully,

From pestilence and harm,

And shhhield against the frigid world,

By warm and potent charm.

 

For I cannot return the sssword,

And shhhield that you ssseek.

But I ssshall release the two,

Although they may be weak.”

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