The woods here are nothing they once were

VI
Hazel and birch tree, oak and fir
Down in the wood of Murroa
Where roots burrow deep
Where leaves grow so thick
That no full moon ever shines.

In the dark wood of Murroa
Who knows what a man might find?
Shadows that speak
And beg for release
While the devil himself rides by

A gentleman walks out at midnight
A rope tied to a noose in his hand
At the end of his path
Is a door like a trap
For the unwary soul to fall in

So it was when I was a boy
When my grandfather told this tale
But time is a child
That burns all it finds
And now only his story remains

This grand old wood of Murroa
Cut down till the mountain is bare
Now the shadows are quiet
And the doors are shut tight
And the woods here are nothing they once were.

 

The heir to a fortune squanders his inheritance on wine and gambling. Destitute and alone, he makes a desperate bargain with a gentleman he meets one midnight. For seven years he will have all the riches he craves. But when seven years are done, what will become of him then?

Sheridan Le Fanu’s story of a man’s pact with the devil is retold in 14 poems by Rufus Woodward.

‘Sir Dominick’s Bargain’ is Chapbook number one of four volumes published by the Olgada Press.

To read all four for free, please visit us at Amazon, Smashwords, ibooks, or Barnes and Noble.

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