In heady hues of Summer’s dawn;
In dwind’ling darkness of heavenly morn;
As stars blink out, silent, forlorn;
So are the souls, who flicker and then perish,
Touched by Plague’s malignant hand.
A village, vibrant and verdant;
A treasure trove of life ardent;
Now lay in ruins, discordant;
So are the sodden pillars of their commune,
Torn down, broken and chaotic.
A black miasma, mocking men;
A fetid, forceful diadem;
Her wicked ways none can reign in;
Such is the venom spewing from her vile soul,
Wreaking torment on us all.
A rich man’s cry of anguished grief;
A pauper’s pain, a son’s relief;
The death-cart bell, oh cursed motif;
So are the sounds that rise upon the zephyrs,
Bringing wretchedness and angst.
Lo, in this time of misery,
When faith is straining, rickety;
When nourishment is far from me;
So sounds the trump of hope amidst the carnage,
Stirring movement in my soul.
A neighbour’s knock on wooden door;
A face that would unite the tore;
Rebuild the pillars strong and sure;
So comes the call to band as one together,
‘Gainst Plague’s fickle finger stand.
Yes, you are welcome at my door,
Be thee rich or be thee poor.
Nobleman, yeoman, farmer, slave,
Let’s be united on this day;
Please, sit upon my tear-stained hearth,
And share your mite from God’s good earth.
Though joy be stole and laughter sparse,
The luck o'the pot shall soothe our hearts.
We’ll honour those she stole away,
And shake clenched fists at you this day,
Cruel enemy, Peste Noire, oh blackest plague.
Author's note: It is widely acknowledged that the term "Potluck" was coined in 1592 by Thomas Nashe, the English playwrite and satirist. I chose to write on the Bubonic Plague as it was rife in England during much of the 16th and 17th Centuries, my intent being to tie the theme to the era.
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