Friday, November 23, 2012

Lammas Night by Mercedes Lackey

A waning moon conceals her face
Behind a scudding wind-torn cloud.
(a wind-torn shroud)
She wraps herself in its embrace
As in a tattered cloak.
(a shadow cloak)
The wind is wailing in the trees.
Their limbs are warped and bent and bowed.
(so bleak and cowed)
I stand within my circle now
To deal with what I woke.
(I wake--I see, but not yet free.)

A wanderer of wizard kind
I was, until a month ago
(so well I know)
The headman of this village came
And begged that I should stay.
(so cold and fey)
"For since our wizard died," he said
"And why he died we do not know--
(so long ago!)
We have no one to weave us spells
And keep the Dark at bay."
(the dark, so deep: so cold the sleep)

"His house and books are yours, milady,
If you choose but to remain."
(remembered pain)
His offer was too tempting
To be lightly set aside
(remembered pride)
I'd wearied of my travel, being
Plaything of the sun and rain--
And I said that I would bide.
(I hope--I pray--and you must stay)

Perhaps if I had been a man, 
And not a maid, perhaps if I
Had been less lonely, less alone,
Or less of magic folk--
(the spell-bound broke)
Whatever weakness was in me,
Or for whatever reason why
(my reason why)
Something slept within that house
That my own presence woke.
(You dream so much--I try to touch)

A half-seen shadow courted me,
Stirred close at hand or by my side.
(to bid you bide)
It left a lover's token--one
Fresh blossom on my plate.
(a fragrant bait)
I woke to danger--knew the young
Magician still to Earth was tied--
(for freedom cried)
And tied to me--and I must act.
Or I might share his fate.
(I need your aid, be not afraid)

I found a spell for banishment--
The pages then turned--and not by me!
(look now and see)
The next spell differed by one word,
A few strokes of a pen.
(and read again)
The first one I had seen before,
The spell to set a spirit free;
(so I will be)
The second let the mage-born dead
Take flesh and live again!
(one spell and then I live again)

Now both these spells were equal
In their risk to body and to soul.
(I shall be whole)
And both these spells demanded 
They be cast on Lammas Night.
(the darkest night)
And both these spells of spirit
And of caster took an equal toll,
(task to the soul)
But nowhere is it writ
That either spell is of the Light.
(to live and see and touch, to be)

Can it be wise to risk the anger
Of the Gods in such a task?
(yet I must ask)
Yet who am I to judge of who
Should live and who should die?
(don't let me die--)
Does love or duty call him?
Is his kindness to me all a mask?
(take up the task)
And could I trust his answer
If I dared to ask him "Why?"
(give all your trust--my will [you must])

So now I stand within the circle
I have drawn upon the floor--
(the open door)
I have no further answer if
This spirit's friend or foe
(nor can you know)
Though I have prayed full often, nor
Can I this moment answer if
I'll tell him "Come" or "Go."

First there was this song, and then some friends got together and wrote up some endings. The end result was a delightfully varied collection of each author's interpretation of how this song might end. All of them are fairly short scenes, some covered only a couple days, some covered some months of story time. Some were only a handful of pages, but I don't think any of them were more than twenty pages long. The endings they all chose were as varied as the number of writers. 

I found Mercedes Lackey on Facebook. I even messaged her and asked permission to continue the concept, making something of a blog hop was the idea, but I got no reply. So consider this merely a book review. A good one. It is obvious that each story is tied to the song, but there is no danger of getting mired in the same old story over and over. The only sameness is, as would be expected, the main players as outlined above, but the hows and whys, and of course the endings make for a delightful collection of opinions. I highly recommend you pick this up. It's a delightful distraction from the full length novel.


Jacqui said...

How disappointing that there was no answer. It would be a fun idea.

Sandra Tyler said...

fun and different!

Anna L. Walls said...

It was different and very fun. I'm SO not a fan of short stories but I really enjoyed all the little tales in this book.

William Kendall said...

It's a good poem.