Cariad was seldom far from Marwolaeth’s thoughts,
and she kept him close in hers. In the solitude of his lonely room,
Marwolaeth dreamed long poems that had no words.
He heard them in his head on evenings when the dark came early
and he invited the wind in for a cup of tea.
Those poems, wondrous odes to Cariad,
were like the tiny diaphanous-winged faeries
that sometimes flitted about in his room
making sounds that rivaled his magical music boxes,
so sweet and soft their song.
On his best days he would walk past the cottage
where she lived with her aging father, and catch a glimpse of her
at the window. Her beauty was both words and music
and more. He felt compelled to share the song
so he’d walk through the streets
to where the tiny cottages gave way to hovels,
singing and tipping his hat to the hungry children
as if they were young aristocrats.
How was he to know there were coins and sweets
that dropped each time he tipped his crown? He only knew
it filled his heart with joy to hear the children laugh
and so he tipped the top hat at every stoop.
Back in his room he wondered
if it were good for a man such as him to be so alone.
Certainly solitude is good for the poet,
the painter of canvas, and the deep thinker,
but he realized there is more to any being
than those most graceful attributes.
Still, he’d rather a quiet hike
through the heather, studying the flora and fauna,
than a night at the club downing warm beer
and bored to tears by the insipid banality
of the jaded membership.
He liked everything at a distance,
especially beauty and love
which he craved as only a poet can.
Thoughts of Cariad
made his chest ache with confusion; such exultation
in the thoughts of her loveliness of face and manner,
and such sorrow in knowing
that those feelings were a ticket to disaster.
It was like loving the sun; if he approached too closely
he knew someone was going to get burned.
Likewise, after years of being alone
he knew he must remain alone. To give in
to his desires, to succumb to the charms
of the guileless Cariad would result in a perfection
not destined for this earth. One such day
could not be followed by another like it.
On the day in question, as he walked past her window,
Cariad’s eyes met his. He forgot about the children,
he forgot about the wisdom he had accumulated
over all the years of his life. He went right up to the door
and opened his mouth to silence. Without question or assent
she placed her hand in his.
The sky opened onto a band of angels
with glorious rays streaming around them.
They reached out their arms and lifted her into their midst.
From that time on the poet Marwolaeth composed dark verse
in the loneliness of his room.
The tiny winged faeries no longer visited with their song
and he no longer remembered the sound
of the children’s happy laughter.
Just as Cariad had been claimed by heaven,
Marwolaeth, confined to his now stifling room
lived in eternal limbo.
The title translates to “Love and Death”