Right at the top of the mountain
Stood an obelisk in stone,
It pointed up to the heavens
Was inscribed with a runic poem,
It wasn’t known who had put it there
Or when, though it made no odds,
For men had seen it had always been
From the time of the ancient gods.
It had seemed to have strange properties
It changed, when the stone was wet,
Deep in the midst of a thunderstorm
It went from grey to jet,
The stone would glisten and glow at night
In a way that seemed most odd,
And when the lightning came forking down
Would act as a lightning rod.
It stood in a pleasant clearing
No tree would grow too near,
Though trees grew all up the mountainside,
I thought that fact was queer.
We’d take a picnic basket there
And settle on the *****,
Lie in the shade of the obelisk
Just me and my girlfriend, Hope.
And she would recline and rest there,
She was pleasing to the eye,
She looked like a Grecian Goddess
For her eyes would match the sky,
Her hair the colour of yellow straw,
She turned, and she sighed at me,
Then said, ‘I feel I’ve been here before
In some ancient mystery.’
She couldn’t explain just what she meant
So we lay awhile, and kissed,
Up on the sun drenched mountain top
In the shade of the obelisk,
Then she got restless and wandered up
To the face that held the runes,
And traced her fingers across the script
On that sunny afternoon.
I started up when I heard her scream
And I saw the arm and fist,
That slid on out of the solid stone
And seized her by the wrist,
The lettering of the runes lit up
And they glowed a scarlet red,
While I grabbed hold of her other arm,
Held onto her, in dread.
She couldn’t manage to free herself
The hand held her so tight,
I strained and heaved, I could not believe,
But she turned pale, and white,
Her eyes went up in her head, then she
Fell fainting to the ground,
The hand still holding her by the wrist
But now there was no sound.
A shape rose out of her body there
Of mist, I couldn’t hold,
And slid right into the solid stone,
It must have been her soul,
For then the hand, it had disappeared
And left an empty shell,
It left her body behind, but Hope,
I knew, had gone to hell.
She sits in a sanatorium
By the window, every day,
And looks unknowingly through the pane
While my pain won’t go away.
I copied the rune and translated it
And it said, ‘The God of Life,
Is trapped in stone in this Obelisk,
And he needs to find a wife…’
David Lewis Paget