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"Hinxworth Place" by Emma Sheppard

Arise to play the tune and light the dark
. Llewellyn, write the words behind the music.
The ghostly sound feeds my imagination,
To write the tale beneath the music's soul.
Let your musical tale take me away,
Fill my mind with visions of the past,
With timeless stories of love turn'd to betrayal,
With childlike wailing into the dead of night.
The gentle flow of music brings images near,
Past fields and rivers as tears flow like tides.
A feeling of sadness in the air around my mind,
As your chosen story beckons and pricks my skin.
Every sound shows emotion long forgotten in time.
We are the ghosts inside the homes of others.
I call you from the place that I once knew,
To give me words to help me fill my page.
I find myself within a stranger's home,
Surrounded by the things I've never owned.
It feels so happy; by chance it will not last.
Will you tell the form the tragedy takes?
Happy smiling face on skipping children,
Into the arms of nursemaid they will run,
Play old games no one now would think of,
Then snuff the candle taken up to bed.
A holiday perhaps for lucky parents, or,
A business trip on which to take his wife.
Whichever choice for kids leaves the solution,
Nursemaid now the ruler of their life.
She sits and sews and sees the girl at play,
Remarks upon the naughty little boy,
Who leaves the room to sulk or so she thinks,
She doesn't search for him or know his tricks.
Startled by a clatter from downstairs,
And silly little tales the girl does tell,
Another noise and no good explanation,
Her face had frozen her memories running wild.
The little boy laughed and took a sheet from the laundry,
He spread it out, draped it upon his body,
He practiced wailing like a mournful ghost,
Holding back his laugh he climbed the stairs.
Upstairs the nurse began to fret and panic,
When it arrived how could she ward it off?
A poker from the fireside was found,
And raised to knock the demon to its death.
The boy drew closer to the nursemaid's fear,
His eyes agleam beneath the slit eyeholes.
A few more moans to scare her full and proper,
Before his final trick was made complete.
Wailing still he flung the door wide open,
The candlelight accompanying the ghost.
The air seemed thick with freshly boiled fear,
No realisation that this was just a joke.
The maid struck out with all her strength to batter,
The evil being from the topmost stair,
As the wailing ghost toppled and fell,
The sheet slid off to show the youthful face.
The girl accompanied the distraught maid,
To turn the ghost into the boy again. Alas,
they found a helpless situation,
Indeed, a ghost, the boy had now become.
Guilt full cries from the poor young nursemaid,
Soon found their way into the parent's hearts.
They knew they could not change the past that killed him,
The memory of his life forever lived.
The burial came and went as did the family,
Time passed, potential buyers left in anguish,
Selected people, children, animals too,
Heard rumours of the death held in this house.
Strange noises, screams and thudding heard by strangers,
Fuelled ghost hunters in their thirst for fear,
Stories filled ghost books around the country,
To scare us all at home though we weren't there.
Major R. G. Clutterbuck told the story,
To inspire artists writing long gone tales.
Connections with the house brought him to know,
The details of the past and of today.
This brings my tale back to Llewellyn,
Thank you for the words that wrote this verse,
Past events live on inside your music,
Inspiring me with more than simply words.

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