A Christmas Poem

I really don’t know how to introduce or explain this. I wrote a Christmas poem on a whim for Stephen Donaldson’s acclaimed fantasy series, The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. I can’t guarantee its readability to anyone who hasn’t read these books.

Merry Christmas!

A Visit From Thomas Covenant, or, Seven Times Seven Nights Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the Land
Not a movement arose from Gravelingas or Hirebrand;
Lord Drool Rockworm gibbered inside of his lair,
In hopes that Tom Covenant soon would be there;
The Ramen were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of Ranyhyn danced in their heads.
Lord Foul, with his plans that so slowly unfurled,
Readied himself to take over the world —
When on Kevin’s Watch there arose such a clatter,
He sprang from his cave to see what was the matter.
The stars in their allemande danced in the sky,
And the world effloresced in chicane surquedry.
And what did he see there? What was the surprise?
What did he see with his yellow-fang eyes
But a miniature leper, and one white gold ring,
And Lord Foul thought, “Eureka! That man’s just the thing!”
So he went out to greet him and give him advice
In his voice full of malice and colder than ice,
Of the Illearth Stone, festive in bright chrysoprase
And a maths problem telling the end of all days.
As the atheists loose on the internet fight,
And leave angry comments on newspaper sites,
So Tommy cried out, “Do you think I’m naive?
This isn’t the real world! I do not believe!”
From the top of the Watch, to the top of the ground,
Our leper fought vertigo, making no sound.
Then more rapid than eagles, young Lena she came
And tried to make friends, and she asked him his name.
Our Tom wasn’t pleased – “Do you know who I am?
Hellfire! Hellfire! Hellfire! Damn!”
And then in a twinkling he seemed to observe
The tingling and twanging of each little nerve.
He grappled his sanity, strove with his fate:
“But nerves can’t grow back! They don’t regenerate!”
He was dressed in a shirt and a gold wedding band,
And missing two fingers on one of his hands.
The weight of the world was flung on his shoulder
And deep down within him misanthropy smouldered.
His orbs, how they glinted! How thund’rous his brow!
His cheeks as clean-shaven as blade would allow.
His droll little mouth was drawn up in a scowl,
And his temper as sweet as a wolf on the prowl.
The stump of a curse he held tight in his teeth
Like a poniard held shining half out of its sheath.
He never did laugh, being so far from home.
His belly stayed firm, like a bowl of hurtloam.
He had a gaunt face and he managed disease
With his Visual Surveillance of Extremities.
He was angry and bitter, a miserable lad,
With a face that would make even Foamfollower sad.
He damned everybody he wanted to save,
And whenever he spoke people asked, “Do you rave?”
He cursed not a word but went straight to his task,
Downing pure springwine from out of the flask.
He ate aliantha and sat in a boat,
And ravers and ur-viles prepared to be smote.
He left Mithil Stonedown and sailed out of sight
Lit by incarnadine bloody moonlight.
As he rounded the bend, Thomas called out unseen,
“Bloody hellfire to all, LEPER OUTCAST UNCLEAN!”

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