See the fortress, tall and white
Upon yon merry mountain?
Its gleaming walls surround a court
Which guards a crystal fountain.
Sir Bundant Lyfe—‘tis his abode
from whence the spring is flowing
And at his side dear Bretha reigns—
A wife both wise and knowing.
All who thirst may climb the path
that leads to Castle Snowy
And quaff their fill from daughters Lyfe—
twin maids, Rivra and Zoe.
And yet, the townfolk say (this is
no mischievous invention),
Heirs counterfeit once swarmed the keep
With sinister intention.
Thus entered Daugz and Ghetta Lyfe,
Avowed to be blood cousins,
With retinue of merchants, clerks,
And cell phones by the dozens.
Their bright young Werkin soon did put
his laptops to the test;
He wired the bright solarium
For “Deth“ and “Dragon Quest.”
Squire Gudd Lyfe’s clan descended next
With glitzy Mistress Watta,
Who criticized and snubbed and poohed
More than a lady oughtta.
The servants fumed behind closed doors
When Gudd’s spoilt son, Sir Castic
Refurbished all the grand old halls
With tapestries of plastic.
Bretha Lyfe stormed Bundant’s den
A-flutter with chagrin.
“Good woman, what am I to do?
After all…They’re kin.”
So Bretha knelt before her God
And named her woes, each one;
Sir Bund had plumped his feather bed
Long ‘ere the wife was done.
But who can search Almighty’s ways?
Their trial had just begun
When Auntie Lowe and her Texas beau
Showed up in search of fun
He shot the leaded windows out
Beer-canned the bowling green
Revved Harleys down the corridors
To charm his dance-hall queen
Lowe’s offspring seemed innumerable
Of fathers they owned many;
But eldest daughter Haytma Lyfe
Swore she hadn’t any.
“I’m a child of hell,” she bragged.
And then, as if to prove it,
She dammed the wellhead with a stone
So dense no one could move it.
With thorns she choked the alpen path
Lured thirsty souls away
Dumped garbage in the fountain-bowl
And left it to decay.
Next, Haytma raged upon the twins,
Chained Rivra in the cellar.
When Zoe hollered, “Stop!” she, too,
Was made a dungeon dweller.
Sir Bundant paced the parapet,
His brain in dire commotion.
Oh, how to heal their water source?
He’d not the slightest notion.
But Bretha sniffed about and found
A Book to end all strife
Her King James Bible clearly mapped
The family tree of Lyfe
Sir Bundant scanned the yellowed page,
Clues twirling in his head.
“Names don’t quite match. What’s further,
Every one of these is dead!”
Then Bretha riffled on, and spied
John chapter ten, verse ten:
“His sheepfold’s safe,” she quoth, “until
a thief pervades the pen!”
The noxious ghosts of Lyfe long past
Sore trembled when they heard
The noble knight and dauntless wife
As one, declare God’s Word.
The rock that clogged the vital spout
Directly shrank to dust
As lucent waters burbled up
And cleansed the pipes from rust.
The long-pent spring, in glad release
Soon spurted geyser-high
The townfolk cheered to see fresh drink
Gush white against the sky.
The Holy Word pierced Haytma’s chest,
Unmasked a shrieking witch;
That saucy wench left naught behind
But puddlefuls of pitch.
The servants scoured each corner crack
To flush out ersatz guests,
But not one hair could any find
Of Daugz Lyfe and his pests.
No sign of ‘Auntie Lowe’ and brood
(And well it is they’re banished)—
Snotty little Werkin? Gone;
Sir Castic, too, had vanished.
No trace of Squire Gudd, nor where
The mistress Watta’d been--
Except that on the stair she’d dropped
One rhinestone shoe—size ten.
“Look—someone’s loosed my darling twins…
Ah, ‘tis the royal Comtessa!”
Thus blithe Bretha ran to greet
Sweet Sister Lyfe, Nunessa.
Now pray, good pilgrim, turn your feet
To scale that blessed mount
Where Nunessa’s nieces pour
Refreshing from Lyfe’s fount.
But as you go, have caution; let
my tale be reminiscent,
When all that feigns to be a Lyfe
Quite manifestly isn’t.
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