It was a cold and damp December night,
No snow lay on the ground,
To compliment the Christmas lights,
That never shone all around.
None but a lone street lamp,
Was there, to permeate the fog,
No warmth from the cold and damp,
No burning Christmas log!
The house was dark in shadows cast,
Not a single candle flickered,
It's welcome to a passing guest,
Should tidings be delivered.
No welcome sprig of mistletoe,
Perchance, a kiss to share,
No seasons greetings welcome glow,
Was hung upon the door!
The sound of bells was not a peal,
But rather, they did toll,
A dirge to those who would reveal,
Their dark and troubled soul.
All the lost and lonely ones,
Who sat among the ghosts,
Of Christmas past, alone,
On this eve to Christmas toasts!
I clambered up before the door,
And gave a clumsy rap,
An aged man, his face was dour,
Gave answer to my chap.
He led me through the threshold to,
A room, all draped in black,
The clientele, I stared at, who,
Through dark eyes, all stared back!
Not one arose with welcome hand,
To greet me to their soiree,
No smile or nod did they portend,
To ease my rising worry.
My thoughts spun round in anxious woe,
In fearful anticipation,
Too late now, I supposed,
To decline the invitation!
To mingle, quickly lost its verve,
My politeness was ignored,
Their silence played upon my nerves,
Though their wisdom, I implored!
Yet not a voice did ease my fear,
Of that which lay unknown,
And not a reason for their tears,
To me, was ever shown!
The tic-tock, tic of passing time,
With lethargy, did drone,
To dredge the madness in my mind,
With horrors never known.
As terror limbered up my spine,
Should ere I need to flee,
The desperation of my sin,
As held by guilt's decree!
And yet, what have I ever done,
That my guilt should hold me captive?
Yes, there were times when I was wrong,
But none deliberately active.
Was this a trial for my soul,
That held me in its gloom?
Will my spirit be forever cold,
That here forever, be my doom?
And then a gong of introduction,
Did verify our host,
Who, in robes of dereliction,
Did waver like a ghost.
His face was pale and skeletal,
His fingers thin and boney,
And with a roar He made the call,
For all to plead their warranty!
I watched as to each in turn,
He bowed to hear their whisper,
And I watched as each man in turn,
Cowered in a whimper.
And I watched as His swinging blade,
Reaped each mortal soul,
And I knew then that the summons made,
Was to justify my soul!
At last, did he come unto me,
To demand my alibi,
To defend my own not guilty plea,
My life to justify.
Said I to Him, "I cannot lie,
Nor break my solemn oath,
But I cannot defend a life,
Of that to which I loathe!"
Said he to me, "Your honesty,
Cannot redeem your soul,
Only can good reason be,
Enough to save your soul."
"What good reason do you plead,
To save your puny life?
Speak now man, make your plea,
Lest I cull you with My scythe!"
Said I to Him, "My soul be lost,
On this cold Christmas eve,
For the girl to whom I've loved the most,
Has vowed to set me free."
"This heart that beats inside my chest,
Is torn all asunder,
So take me now, at my request,
For I loathe the pain I suffer!"
He gave to me His cold, dark stare,
Devoid of all compassion,
'Twas not for Him to reason care,
Nor to judge upon emotion.
'Twas need for Him to justify,
The case for life or death,
No other cause nor reason why,
His hand should touch my breast!
"Suicide may kill a man,
But in your case, you live,
The heart that beats beneath My hand,
Holds no guilt to forgive."
"Go back to her who owns your soul,
'Tis not yet Mine to reap,
Go back to her who owns your soul,
And dry the tears she weeps!"
And with that said, my story told,
'Tis a true tale that I tell,
I live a life that's brave and bold,
With the girl I love so well.
For it's true to say, that Christmas eve,
Oh so many years since past,
Combined the souls of her and me,
To build a love to last!