The trapdoor opens with a creak
To reveal a tunnel bleak
Sloping down into the dark,
Then a torch lights with a spark.
He takes the torch and ventures down
The passage dank and winding,
Its walls engraved with horses, crowns,
And at its end then finding
Beside a rusty metal gate
A shining sword, shield, suit of plate,
Upon which eagles are engraved,
Here is the glory Daric craved,
And yet this gleam is not so prized,
Now that he has been chastised.
Above the armour rack a plaque
Warns in lettering most stark:
Who would grasp this noble hilt
Must be free of vice and guilt,
Must stay upon the righteous path,
Or fall victim to his own wrath.
So with solemn oath he takes
The armour and with hand that shakes
He grasps the hilt of that great sword,
Salutes the hill and gives his word.
Beyond the gate a passage grey
That leads by narrow hidden way
To a gorge quite overgrown
With walls of uninviting stone.
He hacks his way through underbrush
Emerging in a meadow lush.
He strolls on down the gentle slope
His heart now light and full of hope.
He finds his bearings, heads off back
Along a dry and dusty track.
It takes him on a different route
(With stops to shake stones from his boot)
Across a plateau, past a bog
Through strange terrain obscured by fog;
As he rounds a disused sty
He hears a stifled female cry.