TO BEGIN WITH………
Marley was dead it must be said
As dead as an old door-nail,
This clearly should be understood
Before we start this tale.
So come on down to London town
To a bygone Christmas Eve,
I'll tell you a story of shame and of glory
A story you'll scarcely believe.
STAVE ONE - MARLEY'S GHOST
Through darkened streets the fog unfurled,
'Round every turn its tendrils curled;
From the shadows, looming huge
Appeared old Ebenezer Scrooge.
No words of mine could fair convey
The sense of ill which marked his way,
For folk drew back as he drew nigh
And held their breath as he passed by.
From others' woes his wealth he made
For money lending was his trade,
Times indeed were truly grim
For those who owed a debt to him.
As he stamped along the street
No passing soul did old Scrooge greet,
Instead, to himself, as he made his way
The day's events he did replay.
A visit he'd had from his nephew Fred
The son of his sister, alas long dead;
To Christmas dinner he'd been invited
You'd think he would have been delighted.
But not old Scrooge, oh no not he,
No point to Christmas did he see;
Its all just a humbug, a wasted day,
He'd sent Fred smartly on his way.
As Fred had left, two strangers called
The things they'd said left Scrooge appalled,
They'd asked for coin to help the poor
Scrooge just helped them out the door.
He paid his tax on all that he earned
No more with the needy would he be concerned,
He cared not at all for their sad situation
Cruelly he'd tagged them "surplus population".
Just to cap this tiresome day
His clerk, when picking up his pay,
Had cleared his throat with a timid cough
And asked to take tomorrow off.
This pleased Ebenezer not one jot
He bemoaned to his clerk the employer's lot;
The whole situation was truly unjust
But he'd give him the day if he really must.
Now marching home in surly mood
A bitter air did Scrooge exude;
But when at last he reached his door
He took great fright at what he saw,
For in the knocker's usual place
Was Jacob Marley's long dead face.
In life his partner he had been
A meaner pair you've never seen,
Yet seven years ago he'd died
"Humbug" growled Scrooge as he hurried inside.
Taking a candle to light the gloom
He slowly searched from room to room,
When naught unusual could he find
Scrooge put the whole thing from his mind.
The fire he lit with meagre fuel
He sat and ate his meagre gruel.
Quite sudden all the house bells rang
And from the cellar there came a bang!
He heard chains dragging 'cross the floor
He heard them clank outside the door,
With unseen force the door swung wide
The ghost of Marley lurched inside.
The sounds outside were thus explained
From top to toe was Marley chained,
Double-ironed, captive, bound
Shackles wrapped him round and round.
Scrooge could not believe his eyes,
His senses must be telling lies;
To himself (and the ghost) did he insist
It was all just a humbug, it didn't exist!
A ghastly cry the ghost gave out
To put an end to Scrooge's doubt,
Its chains it shook, a fearful sound
In terror Scrooge sank to the ground.
To him the shade did then relate
The awful story of its fate,
How ever since the night he'd died
His spirit to this world was tied,
In penance for his lust & greed
And the scorn he'd shown to those in need.
In bitter tones he told his tale
Oft letting forth a desperate wail,
For every selfish, heartless crime
He must repay throughout all time.
Scrooge's blood ran icy cold
As Marley grimly then foretold,
How this and worse was his fate too
Scrooge begged to know what he should do.
A chance he had, but only one
That all his sins could be undone,
Three more ghosts must Scrooge endure
By this some hope he might procure.
The first would come tonight at one
So saying, Marley's task was done,
The second would come tomorrow at two
A window opened, he floated through,
The third would come when e'er it might
The spirit fled upward and into the night.
With these things whirling through his head
Scrooge shuffled slowly to his bed,
Still dressed he laid himself to sleep
In but an instant he slumbered deep.
COPYRIGHT D M PAMMENT 2009