The Lord of the Dunderberg

Goblin and kobold and elf and gnome
Riot and rollick and make their home
Deep in the Highlands, where Hudson glides,
Curving the sweep of his volumed tides
Round wooded islet and granite base
Down through the rush of the Devil's Race.
Great is the prowess of Goblin might;
Dread is the malice of troll and sprite;
Chief of them all is the potent Dwerg,
Heer of the Keep of the Dunderberg!

Mountain and River obey his spell
E'en to the Island of Pollopel;
Brooding, he sits in the rugged glen,
Jealous of honor of sprites and men.
Ye who would sail his dominions through
Scatheless, withhold not the homage due!
Lower your peak and its flaunting flag!
Strike! — to the Lord of the Thunder Crag!

Gracefully rounded and broad of beam,
Breasting the calms of the golden stream,
Slanting along o'er the Tappan Rack,
Sidled the Geertruyd van Haagensack .
Sometimes she wobbled, for, be it told,
Casked in the darks of her roomy hold
Gurgled the liquor of pleasant sin —
Rum of Jamaica and Holland's gin!

Puffing his pipe on the after-deck
Glowered the captain, Gerardus Keck —
Sour and headstrong, but stout of soul,
Scorner of legends of spuke and troll.
Up came the boatswain with pallid face:
" Captain! we swing in the Devil's Race!
Will ye not lower the orange flag
Here, in the shade of the Thunder Crag?
" Dikkop! Bemoeial! " the captain roared;
" Durfniet! the wrath of thy Goblin Lord
Lightly I hold as a stoup of rum!
Broom to the masthead! — and let 'em come! "

Shrouding the vessel, before they wist,
Streamed from the Mountain a curdling mist.
Piercing the woof of that leaden veil
Pelted and rattled the heavy hail.
Hudson arose like a tortured snake,
Foaming and heaving; the thunder spake,
Rolled from the cliffs, and the lightning played
Viciously red through the pallid shade!

Oh! how the elements howled and wailed!
Oh! how the crew of the Geertruyd quailed,
Huddling together with starting eyes!
For, in the rack, like a swarm of flies,
Legions of goblins in doublet and hose
Gamboled and frolicked off Anthony's Nose;
While on the shuddering masthead sat
Cross-legged, crowned with his steeple-hat,
Grinning with mischief, that potent Dwerg,
Lord of the Keep of the Dunderberg!

Brawled o'er the gunwale the frothing tide.
" Up with the cargo! " the captain cried;
" Lighten the vessel or else we sink! "
Over the side went the precious drink!
Darting like swallows, those goblin knaves
Caught up the casks ere they touched the waves.
Back to their mountains the thievish crew
Whirled with their booty; before them flew,
Waving in triumph a captured flag,
He of the Heights of the Thunder Crag!

Gone was the tempest! With sails adroop,
Battered and draggled, the plundered sloop,
Stemming a current without a swell,
Crept past the Island of Pollopel.
Wild was the laughter that quaking men
Heard-through the night from the Goblin Glen
Where, in a revel, the gleeful horde
Drank to the fame of their puissant Lord!

Skippers that scoff when the sky is bright,
Heed ye this story of goblin might!
Strange the adventures of barks that come
Laden with cargoes of gin and rum!
When the Storm Ship drives with her head to gale
And the corpse-light gleams in her hollow sail —
When Cro' Nest laughs in the tempest's hem
While the lightnings weave him a diadem —
When Storm King shouts through the spumy wrack
And Bull Hill bellows the thunder back —
Beware of the wrath of the mighty Dwerg!
Strike flag to the Lord of the Dunderberg!
Rate this poem: 

Reviews

No reviews yet.