Poor Sir Dominick. Faithless, feeble Sir Dominick
Some stains you cannot clean from your soul
He comes at midnight
Here by appointment
To keep a promise
Too late for priests and prayers now
Too late to run, too late to hide
How happy, now, how inviting looks
That old oak tree with its open noose?
Like a coward you bluster
Like a child you plead
But the stranger is not for listening
Not a gentleman any longer
His coat is ragged, his shirt torn
Long matted hair worn for breeches
He takes a step towards you
He puts his stong hands upon you
And throws you to the wall
And smashes your head in pieces there
Lights go out. A door crashes closed.
A gale blows through an empty house.
From the fireplace, ashes fly and
Hang in the air, glowing silent
For an eternity, it seems
Before dropping and vanishing
Outside there is a howling
A crying of beasts in panic
Two shadows ride from Dunoran
Silent and uncanny, while
Your body lies in the courtyard
Cold and stiffening already
Poor Sir Dominick. Lost, damned Sir Dominick
What hope did you ever have?
Your bargain is not yet ended.
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.