His claws have half retracted,
But he’s clearly still a freak.
While he is thus distracted
He’s startled by a squeak.
“Hmm, what do we have out here?”
Says an old man with a staff.
He squints his eyes, displays no fear,
And comments with a laugh:
“A wanderer, I wonder,
To venture out this far;
It makes me pause and ponder
Whether you know where you are.”
“Stay back, old man, for your own sake,
Or call for help at least;
The rage within me may yet break,
I’ve been cursed by the beast.”
“That much is clear, my burdened friend,
Your teeth and claws stand out;
You’re not the first to meet his end
And end up hearabout.”
“Meet his end, so I am dead?
I failed like all the rest?”
“No, you somehow kept your head
And now you are my guest.
“I’ll wager you don’t live in fear
Of losing name or station,
So can stand and persevere
Upon a new foundation.”
“I cling to life but barely,
Guilt and rage tear at my soul.
Clarity comes rarely,
How can I hope to be made whole?”
“There is a way, old rumors say,
To dissipate this curse.
Though on the Hill of Myth there may
Be also something worse.”
“Worse than this affliction?
What could cause me more regret?
What sort of benediction
Carries such an awful threat?”