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The Devourer Took a New Name

by Richard H. Fay

Through the ages of stone, bronze, and steel,
The deathless thing spent endless eons
Stalking the moonlit midnight forest,
Haunting humanity’s darkest dreams,
Sapping the lifeblood of innocents,
Devouring mankind’s most tender sprigs.

Moulded to match each mortal’s terror,
Named a thousand times by countless scribes,
Depicted in a million guises
Imagined by many troubled minds,
The dreadful soul wove his frightful webs
Till rational thought weakened those threads.

Bored with stealthy nocturnal tramping,
Tired of his diabolic trappings,
Ignored instead of worshipped and feared,
Neutered by pragmatic disbelief,
The restless shade sought more perverse ways
To ensnare prey in a modern world.

Grasping man’s hectic celebrations,
Hiding in the commercial bustle
Of racing rats lacking elder sense,
Adopting a mad season’s symbol,
The fell fiend became cherished icon
Clad in crimson to slake bloody thirst.

Before elfin crew,
Behind kindly mask,
Beneath flowing beard,
Under newest name,
Children came to him:

Copyright © 2009 by Richard H. Fay

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