Poem: A Troll’s Tale


As I went for morning stroll

I was accosted by two trolls,

Who chose to walk by me besides,

Matching my pace – stride for stride


These trolls were green as green can be,

As scum of pond – as lake of algae –

Their hair was matted, messy, and knotty,

Bespeaking an appearance severely grotty,

Dressed in rags, and uncouth chainmail –

(And a dagger, perhaps, lone men to assail?)


In short, they were an unpleasant pair –

I felt comparatively debonair! –

And I certainly didn’t smell so foul,

As these rogues, dogging me, cheek by jowl!


“What want ye trolls?” said I to them,

“Scourge of otherwise merry men!

Can chap not go for happy stroll,

Without being pestered by two trolls?”


“Well now!” saith the first, “the cheek of that!

Just because we are withouten silken cravat!

Us trolls ‘as fallen on ‘ard times;

We were not always so badly begrimed!


“Once we were Great Lords, respected;

Kings of Caverns, now neglected,

That once did brim with copper and gold,

And much else ‘twas pleasing to behold:

Like talking cats – and magical rings –

And lyres that strum without no strings!


We were men of renown in them times –

Who ruled the land? – Who manned the mines?

We did! – Ah, but fortune struck us from her role –

When something befell us, terrible,

For, when we mined the earth too deep,

We roused something dreadful from its sleep,

Faster than you can say ‘Conspiracy!’ or ‘PSYOPS!’

From out the ground emerged a giant Cyclops!


He squashed our women – he ate our cattle –

And no matter how fiercely we engaged him in battle,

We could barely give him more than a scratch –

Thus, from his tyranny, much more was hatched,

All the land was barren and blighted,

And so our glory days were soon benighted!”


“But wait!” says I, from me to Troll,

No bloody rivers do I see roll,

Abergavenny is a peaceful town –

Now raging Cyclops do I see frown!”


“That’s why we harried you – he’s on his way!

And means to be here by the end of day –

He’s just coming now from yon Brynmawr –

You’ll hear him roar within the hour!

He won’t be content to see just Abergavenny fall –

But Monmouth and Raglan – he wants them all!

And his ire, his wrath, will not be spent,

Until he’s crushed the whole of Gwent!”


“Yes, but surely not e’en a beast of this sort,

Would have the gall to take on Newport?

Tell you what we’ll do – we’ll divert him there,

And by the time he sniffs the air,

He’ll fall down drunk – hunker down abed –

And when comes the morning – we’ll bash in his head!

Then this Cyclops will harry you no more,

And your diamond mines you can soon restore!”


But as I continued on my stroll,

I was no more accosted by two trolls,

No more were they by me either side,

Or matching my pace – stride for stride,


I presumed by their untimely contraction,

That they’d gone to put my plan into action,

And I bid them well – as I strolled on,

Enjoying the sweetness of this sweet dawn,

Glad that just through enjoying my morning stroll,

I could make life more pleasant for a pair of trolls!





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