A Bit of Bad Beef
Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol told again in verse
And as he approaches his own barren door
He wonders what Christmas is really meant for:
A frivolous nuisance, a costly event
Where good money's wasted, impractically spent.
So, donning his nightcap, he lies down to sleep
First musing of riches and contracts to keep
Then drifting still deeper, his last conscious thought:
How sweet it would be if Christmas were not!
But soon he's awakened: a harsh, grating sound...
He opens his eyes and he peers all around
Down at his feet, a strange form has unfurled!
A visage immortal, not part of this world!
And yet it resembles someone from his past
To the atrophied features, an intimate cast
The tormented profile is one he should know
For it's that of his partner who died long ago!
The Tainted Limb
Thomas Hardy's The Withered Arm after Tennyson's Mariana
She'd heard tell of a Conjuror
Who lived within the neighbourhood;
Magic might he have for her
To coax the evil back to good;
And so, she made her way to him
And stood upon his darkened stair...
Showed him what she could not bear
And wept about her prospects grim:
"Take this blemish from my life
A jinx is mine!" she cried
"I am not fit to be his wife!
This limb he can't abide!"
Thus diagnosed the magic man:
"Free you'll be of devil's clutch
If, to a strangled neck, you can
Your sorely vexed appendage touch"
So that same night, she stole away
To where her sick heart might behold
A gallows set to take its toll
Before the dawning of the day
"What price is this for me to pay?
Horror, mine!" she cried
"I would there were aught else to do
To see this ill subside!"