A tale once told to children in their sleep,
Unsettling their angel-like repose—
Words whispered by the beasts who’d witness lain
And yearned to tell the tale to those who weep.
Not far, not near, a palace tow’ring high,
Here serving her grand Queen—a dark-eyed maid,
Who’d wished to flee her farming life at home,
Where no-thing would have e’re gone so awry.
She felt her Queen’s great silks, combed locks of hair
That sat beneath a circlet spun of gold.
The maiden wished to have such things herself—
To have about her so regal an air.
At night, lying in sheets blatantly coarse,
She could not sleep for neighing sounds so faint.
On tip-toe she crept out into the hall,
And there—a dark-eyed knight on a great horse.
Down flights of narrow stairs the pair advanced
And landed in a ballroom fully dark,
Save for the gleaming stained glass on the walls,
Whose ghostly light under which nobles danced.
A golden throne loomed empty o’er the scene;
The maiden left the knight and took her place,
And instantly—silks in her hands with jewels,
And on her head, a crown fit for a Queen.
She watched over a night that had no dawn
As merry courtiers danced to and fro.
She reveled as they shouted out her name,
Her past as maid, not Queen, now nearly gone.
But waltzes endless left her in defeat;
The years passed—she, now weary of the throne,
Was wondering if she—somehow—perhaps
Could at least temporarily retreat.
So, scheming of her method of return,
She peered more closely at the ballroom dark,
And, eerie in that moment, the glass light
Horrifically through her dear subjects burned.
They were not solid—nay, “They’re merely ghosts!”
The shadows ‘round her dark as deathly sleep.
The knight who’d led her there now caught her eye,
Her eye—exact same as those of his boast.
With every thought each jewel came tumbling down;
All in her head—the silks dissolved to dust.
She was not here, in truth, nor was she Queen;
There was no here—no head to hold the crown.
For she in sleep had taken final breath;
Oblivion had brought to her false bliss,
And Queen Nocturna, in ballroom of night,
Only could have wishes fulfilled by Death.
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