- found it! - a little poem rattled off some twenty-odd years ago when someone challenged me to write something snuurg-y that wasn't necessarily about just killing stuff and lots of blood and guts (only half- succeeded I suppose but heyho) - I used to write a lot of weird and horrible stuff at school... our English teacher loved it all though, good ol' Betty.
Anyway, thought I'd try and wrap up various bogey/boogey-man tales, along with old fairy and folk tale bits and pieces, of all the baddest baddie bad guys rolled into one, hence the shameless nicking (ahem, paraphrasing, I should say) of old favourites like the 'grinding bones' stuff and similar whatnot, basically to give ol' Snuurg the eternal naughty rep, source of all the things your folks tell you to get you to behave - i.e. do what yer told or otherwise suchnsuch will come and get ya kinda stuff; the meter is all over the place more or less on purpose as the whole thing's meant to be a collation of different stories and legends that don't necessarily originate from the same writer, while nevertheless being about the same subject - tapping into the various global/universal fear-tales-for-kids, and wrapping up with a couple of more localised ones - The Grey Man for instance is I think a Scottish bad-fella legend; and Nanny is even closer to home, a Lincolnshire terror - Nanny Rutt, a dweller of dark woods, who'd make short work of incautious girls who went into such woods when they shouldn't (an oldey-worldey sort of euphemism to avoid not quite coming out and saying that young girls shouldn't venture into the adult world before they ought to. Yeah, you know what I mean...)
Not all too sure if there were wood-dwellers who dealt quite so specifically with us blokes of the species going off into the woods, but ain't that just tippy ickle... the Nanny-type was no doubt dreamt up by someone's dad determined not to let her go off and have some jolly - eh well.
- aaaanyway, that's my very brief soapbox-bit on behalf of girl-power done for now, after all this is meant to be about me and my dark-half, and - well anyway, whatever, as the dismissives say these days - doubt anybody's reading this bit in any case.
Meanwhile, this lays to rest the argument with the naysayers who reckon I nicked 'the thing that darkness fears' from Joss Whedon/Buffy, who wrote something of a similar phraseology - since this was rattled off when I was about 17 - i.e. 26 BLUMMIN' YEARS AGO (!) though, I reckon I was in there first. Can't prove that of course, but me knowin' it is good enough for my conscience, ta very much.
So here's me little poom:
Your parents will talk of a creature most fell,
rejected by death and evicted from Hell -
and ‘tis I that they speak of, in cautioning tones,
to keep me from coming to gnaw on your bones.
I’m in each tale of terror you ever have heard,
whether read from a book or related by word:
I lurk in the wardrobe and under the floor;
I tap at the window and scratch at the door…
If you’re truthful, obedient, honest and kind,
then your virtuous ways make you harder to find:
therefore learn ye my ballad, and always do right,
so that you child, and I, never meet in the night.
Harken thee, young ones, and do as you’re told,
as my names and my nature I hereby unfold
- I am eater of children and stealer of life,
spoiler of innocence, bringer of strife.
I am the thing that sleepers dread,
with power to poison dreams -
I am the thing beneath the bed
that cherishes your screams.
I am the thing whose foetid breath
is stifling the room;
my sport is blood, my touch is death,
my coming is your doom.
I am the shadow at your back,
the devil in every pavement-crack;
I am the thing you sense is there
when you are going down the stair.
I am the blackness from within,
bloody with murder, rotten with lies:
the seed of hate, the root of sin,
Master of darkness, Lord of the flies.
The deeply wicked are my lure,
a most delicious bait -
and so you’ll find me at your door
whene’er the hour is late.
In shadows will I come for you,
to take your life away -
unless you are both courteous,
and careful what you say:
‘tis true, I come for all who seek
to cheat and steal and lie:
take heed of ev’ry floorboard-creak -
be sure that soon you’ll die.
Your parents will not come to aid -
nor any folk you know:
for wrongs of yours, their lives have paid,
and I have lain them low.
So as I make my dark approach
toward your little bed,
remember it’s because of you,
your kinfolk all lie dead.
- if you’ve behaved though, worry not:
the sun again will shine;
but otherwise, you’ve had your lot,
and night will make you mine.
She is dark mistress to my art,
accomplice to my skill -
she’s at the stop of every heart,
and there for every kill.
Yet fear her not, for she is but
an instrument of fright -
‘tis not the fall of her dread foot
that comes t’ward you at night.
Her blackest depths, mere absent light -
are banished by the day:
and though she guards me from your sight,
she dare not bar my way:
No dark, nor door, nor gate or lock
can keep me from my goal -
when, as the hour strikes twelve o’clock,
I come to steal your soul.
And when I come to make you mine,
and once you’re cold and stretched out dead -
I’ll drink your blood like sweetest wine,
and grind your bones to make my bread.
Yes, I am at the darkest part
of every fearful story told:
the fiend who chills the stoutest heart,
and makes the bravest blood run cold.
- the ogre, goblin, grendel, orc,
that’s ever been the fabled foe
- the troll of superstitious talk,
the bogeyman of mortals’ woe.
The Grey Man, enemy of good,
a wicked creature sent from Hell
- the cruellest spirit of the wood,
who’ll drag you down to Nanny’s Well.
I am eternal, ever here,
until the stars desert the sky:
as long as there is need to fear,
I cannot perish, will not die.
I am the bringer of blood and tears
I have endured through all the years
I am the thing that darkness fears -
and now my tale is through:
For while you lay a-dreaming deep,
into your fastnesses I creep,
and thereby make to murder sleep -
and soon, I’ll come for you.