Of Fire and Brimstone, of Faith and Belief
The young maiden grew into a beautiful woman,
her heart as kind as any could be,
her healing was her kindness dressed in human love,
and she was renowned,
as the miracle of their village home,
and as she passed each villager would bow out of respect
as she became a symbol of possibility,
the aspiration of any good soul.
Yet one thing in life gave sorrow
to an otherwise perfect life,
and that was a man to share her intimate moments,
her cherished thoughts and love;
yet she was to most untouchable,
her piety too pristine to touch by human hands,
and so she languished within her dream,
fulfilled with most, yet wanting.
At night she would look to the stars,
those lights that gave her hope
and a feeling of place within life,
she yearned for a man willing to hold her,
to treat her as a woman,
not some angel incarnate,
but a women with desires and hopes for family.
Two years passed and on a dull day,
of rain and mud and squawking chickens,
a stranger entered the village,
hooded, holding a long twisted walking stick,
and he stopped at the inn for an ale,
a kind word and perhaps some meager sustenance,
for he was poor and homeless.
He was treated with kindness and rested content,
and decided to take a room, just for the night;
he new nothing of she, the miracle of the village
but that dark silent night had a dream,
a women so beguiling, she took his heart and wouldn’t let go,
and he, so inflamed with passion and wonder, awoke
to want nothing but to find her.
In a muddy street, as morn dusted the passing rain,
the man stood transfixed,
as the women of his dream dashed past to tend her work;
his eyes followed her as his heart skipped beats,
but she, unthinking of love’s possibility
noticed not his attention.
He watched her go into a hut and waited patiently.
When she alighted, he stood in front of her like a wall,
and she looked up, excuse me sir, you are in my way,
she said, looking into the shadow of his hood,
he let the hood fall to reveal a most handsome face,
and she all but gasped,
as his loving eyes did spark her lethargic heart.
What is your name, angel that stands before me, he asked,
and her brow furrowed, her reputation preceding her.
She stomped off, a surge of sorrow engulfing her,
for a moment thinking she was just a woman, to be loved,
and he, dumbfounded at her release,
for love had well and truly chosen her,
and so he followed her to the other side of the village,
to a small thatched hut nestled snugly by the path;
He gentle knocked upon the door.
What do you want, she spat, her eyes welling,
I know not of you but in a dream
and my heart’s not been the same since, he explained,
you are more beautiful to me that a crystal stream,
a starry night or a joyous dream, please I beg you,
let me in?
She looked into his pale blue eyes
and her heart pounded with excitement,
as she stepped aside for he to enter,
and by a fire in the dim light they talked of many things
and she quickly felt love for this man,
who knew not her pious reputation,
and had found her in a dream.
But soon her joy was replaced by fear,
as she discovered he was pagan,
and she the pious Christian of her village,
touched by God’s hand, saved for his guided life,
yet this man a Norseman beheld of heart by Odin.
But she only saw good in him
and they made love with such sweet passion,
there was no turning back.
For days, they stayed within the confines of the hut,
talking of Gods and belief, trying to find a common ground,
more than the love that en-wrapped them, complete,
and as each spoke of their convictions it became clear
that love abounded each, that life found favor,
and who could challenge either to be false,
to deny a mind its sanctity of faith.
So with prideful agreement,
their love was revealed and the villagers were devastated,
as who could take their miracle into the darkness of pagan belief,
to soil her soul most profoundly
and mock the very fabric of Christian life.
He, like a devil with his amulets and wolves adorned,
and she conspiring with him in love or whatever ritual sacrifice.
And so she was rejected,
her life too sullied for acceptance,
and he feared as if a demon man, a danger to their village,
and life became a danger for both,
she unable to heal, he so feared a pagan,
and both a darkness,
a disease that could not be cured.
In fear for life, they packed their meagre belongings
and as darkness fell, intended to flee to the village,
for them, love was more important that belief,
and freedom they could only find
in the anonymity of city streets, far from there.
So as the sun waned,
and darkness cloaked the village green,
they alighted, belongings in hand.
Awaiting them, the entire village, torches in hand,
a miracle you are no longer, one said,
for have brought darkness upon us,
betrayed God most blatantly, and for this you must pay,
but we have found love,
and isn’t that God’s calling, she pleaded,
you blaspheme girl, for the demon has found you,
and both shall pay the price of sin.
In the square, two stakes were erected,
with a platform under which faggots a many were placed,
and the two were lead to the square and tied to each stake,
upon those platforms that would soon cleanse the evil from them,
the flames in God’s name make restitution.
Calm and silent, the two lovers looked to each other,
their love complete in acceptance,
as the tinder was lit and the flames danced.
Each looked up to the heavens,
she an angel vision to console, he the open door to Valhalla,
and as the flames slowly consumed them,
they felt not pain, but the release of earthy trials,
in the knowledge that wherever they would be,
it would be together, for love conquers all,
in belief, in life and beyond.
Tony DeLorger © 2017