Listen to a multimedia dramatization of this poem, here.
“To Satan with you, crazed old man.”
“Do not speak My Name in your ignorant ape tongue, boy!
My Name is Shaitan, not Satan,
Respect your Mother, and name Me Shaitan, or Lucero.”
“The Lord be with you, old fool. The Devil hath stolen your mind.
Now haste! Before Old Scratch eats your soul as well.”
“YOU BLASPHEMING MONKEY, YOU’LL FEEL HELLS ICY FLAMES FOR THAT!”
The Crier threw back his robes with arms upraised,
And inside the black lining of his robe were all the stars of the sky.
He stood now taller than all of Darkstar’s men by a full body length,
And his long, twisted shadow fell over one of the men who led the way.
The man twisted and writhed as if he was again beholding The One Above,
And immediately fell to his knees and wept, “forgive”.
“Don’t you know Me, boy?!”
“I am The Fiery Lord your fathers fed their virgins to,
I am Memnoch, The Sufferer of Children,
Dare you not to call Me Moloch, or you will walk on My Fiery Tongue and be consumed,
As your old, old fathers were.”
Memnoch lowered his robes and again was just an old, feeble man,
His shadow gone again into the sky.
Darkstar’s thane trembled and wept and rocked himself slightly,
“Forgive”, he hissed as he hugged himself, “please, I beg.”
“What is My Name, boy?”
“I know it not, Lord.”
“You cannot claim Me as your Lord, for you have made Me no Offering.”
The thane bowed his forehead to the dirt and reached under his cloak,
He put his arms out flat to the Earth and laid his gold and his sword before Shaitan.
“You dare barter your Life with money?
That gold has bought your Soul!”
“Mercy. Please”, pleaded the man.
A great groaning sound of twisting wood suddenly rose,
Behind the Old Man, a gnarled gray tree the size of a cottage began to twist,
And lift its roots from the ground as if its feet were merely buried in loose sand,
The tree flexed and writhed as the decayed old bark began to split and fall away,
The split off top of the tree opened and closed like a giant maw,
An unearthly roar sounded,
The tree began to rise and shake as the bark flew off in great spears of wood.
The Dragon shook off the last bits of wood as it kneeled behind The Dark One,
Its great leathery wings wrapped around it like a herald’s cloak,
It gazed at the prostrate thane with eyes like liquid gold.
“Beelzebub will take you home now, my son. You will not remember us.”
“Go now”, Shaitan said to The Dragon.
“I will to do Thy Will”, it said and in the blink of an eye it had snatched the swordsman away,
And was already a small gray silhouette on the horizon,
In another second it was gone.
I knelt before Shaitan as did my fellows,
“Name Me respectfully and rise, My Children, rise,”Lucero spoke again,
In the cracked old voice of The Mariner,
But the seafarer’s cadence had disappeared from His speech.
With eyes downcast I asked Shaitan where The Dragon had taken my friend,
“He is being brought to a new life far away,
He won’t remember this insane quest you’ve led him on.”