The lady of the night

For dverse. Gothic as a form is hard (for me) to take seriously, so I’ve chosen a ballad form and camped it up a bit.

Füssli,_Johann_Heinrich_-_Nachtmahr,_Detail_Pferd_-_1802

A bird flew out of the turret
As the last red light was dying,
The call of a distant egret,
Clear as the last child crying.

The sounds of the darkness grew louder
With the waning of the light,
And monstrous beasts stalked prouder
With the swelling of the night.

She wandered the paths at midnight
From hill down bloody glen,
Hoping the beacon searchlight
Would light her home again,

But the tangle of bramble’s a traitor
And caught in its cruel embrace,
She was bound in the dark to wait for
The one who would steal her face.

A bird flew out of the turret
When horror invested the place,
The shriek of the pure white-plumed egret
Is the song of her lovely dead face.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

49 thoughts on “The lady of the night”

      1. As I’ve just replied to Sanaa, I went to wikimedia commons to check because I had a feeling it was the same painter/painting and the photo of the day is…a great white egret! Coincidence? I don’t think so.

  1. You chose the classic form for a Gothic poem, Jane, as it should be. I agree with Björn about women who wander paths at midnight in bloody glens – they should know better! The bramble brings Sleeping Beauty to mind, but how awful to be ‘bound in the dark to wait for / The one who would steal her face’! The final lines make a perfect ending.

  2. You rocked the prompt!! 💝 I so love that you chose to write a ballad for the Gothic theme 🙂 the closing image in particular is deliciously eerie.

    1. Thank you! I’ll tell you what is eerie. I went to wikimedia commons to look up the painting I used which I was sure was a detail of the painting you used in your post, and what is the image of the day? A white-plumed great egret.

  3. Nasty! I know what you mean about the Gothic form. I found myself getting more and more tongue-in-cheek with each stanza of mine, especially as it involved someone dying on a toilet! You’ve captured the style just right though, Jane!

  4. “She was bound in the dark to wait for
    The one who would steal her face.”

    Wow! I love that. Definitely the definition of gothic. 🙂

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