Maria Nutick


When the flames flicker low and the ale runs dry
And the wind cries a mournful wail
Then the talk round the table begins to die
And the bard comes to spin us a tale
She cradles her harp and she strikes up a chord
She sings in a voice soft and low
Of armies and battles and heroes and lords
Oh the things that the harper knows!
She sings of the past and the people who were
She sings of the ones who will be
The servants stop working to listen to her
She plays lovely music for me
The candles burn out and the hall grows cold
And the harper goes on with her song
Enchanting us all with her tales of days old
And the struggle of right against wrong
She captures their minds in a sorcerous hold
While I creep round the hall like a ghost
I open their pouches and lift out their gold
Even stealing the crown from our host
When at last her voice dies and the melody ends
They are filled in their hearts with delight
She winks in the dark at her light-fingered friend
And we slip away into the night.

Illustration by Kimberlee Rettberg

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