THE GREAT HOUSE



 
High on a bluff, above a blue sea,
Stood the old mansion in disrepair,
Worn and torn by weather and age,
Along with the lack of care.
 
It once was a place of  beauty,
Dreamed and planned by a seafaring man,
Who thought Mother Nature wouldn't mind,
Giving up a part of her land.
 
The house was built to last forever,
And was the seaman's joy and pride,
And when it was completed,
It was his gift to his beautiful bride.
 
Around the great house were planted
Lovely lush gardens and trees,
A vision of joy - A true paradise,
Swept clean by a fresh ocean breeze.
 
For many years the man and his wife
Lived in their home happily
Until one day his vessel went down,
And the poor man was lost at sea.
 
His wife then died of a broken heart,
Which left the great house on its own,
Though once it stood tall, now it seemed small
Like an aging old man left alone..
 
Time, of course, took a hefty toll,
And each year folks thought was its last,
But somehow the great house hung on,
Stubborn and willful, perhaps.
 
But then one night a malicious wind
Lashed out at the resolute place,
Needle-like rain and dagger-like hail
Jabbed and stabbed at its face.
 
The stately old house steadied itself,
For the brunt of the storm yet to come,
It shook and trembled throughout the night,
The fight of its life had begun.
 
The wind toyed with its loose shutters,
Which rattled and banged at each blast,
And from some place within the great house,
Came the sound of shattering glass.
 
Gales shrieked around its grayed gables,
As if a crazed banshee were loosed,
There was cackling, evil, mean laughter,
As shingles were torn from the roof.
 
The trees in the yard were bent double,
Some snapped at their trunks and broke off,
Others sprang back and swayed madly,
Their leaves did a fast dance and were lost.
 
A hard rain continued to pound,
Like jungle drums out of control,
No pattern, no cadence, no rhythm,
Just strange, undecipherable codes.
 
As the fury of the storm rose higher,
The spirit of the house moaned and groaned,
No one around to take pity,
No one to defend the old home.
 
Water-logged railings gave way,
Front and back porches collapsed.
Debris flew around like confetti,
And stained window panes crashed and smashed.
 
One by one, each sagging wall fell,
And at last the whole roof blew away,
As if it had wings, it flew through the air,
In a frightfully, awesome display.
 
In the dark that night the house disappeared,
And by morning, nothing remained,
Not a brick or a stick left anywhere,
And the bluff was washed clean by the rain.
 
How sad the loss of the old great house,
Though still on the hill, hope survived,
For one lonely tree yet stood in the yard,
Bent, it is true, but alive!
 
Maybe another great house will rise
Next to that sad, lonely tree.
Or perhaps Mother Nature has cried,
"Enough!  This bluff belongs to me!"
 
Virginia (Ginny) Ellis
Copyright September 2004 ~ October 2007




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