The River

In the rivers flood running fast,

a shape came floating past,

from where I stood, staring

with curiosity. As I went nearer

the amorphous thing I beheld

and mad I went; screaming in horror.

For the shape was neither dead nor

alive, bloated and distended

and rotten it floated on nigh.

Then the horrid, half-decayed

form reanimated as I stood there

prostrate, unable to move or to

lift a limb. A stench welled up,

as of a thousend charnel pits

and sepulchres, strangling the grass

and the flowers, befouling them.

The thing reared up slowly and shuffling,

menacing it made some steps

where I stood, certain sounds it uttered,

words full of repulsiveness and wickedness.

The shape then raised a fetid paw, plunging

half-blind forward, where I cowered in frantic fear,

transfixed by some malevolent will.

My mind went dark and numb, as the thing drew closer

and closer. As I at last regained my senses,

there lingered still that loathsome, foul

odour, that no clean air could vanquish.

Blindly and delirious and half-mad I stumpled

over that befouled river-bank until I could

smell the wholesome air, whilst my head

still swirled and reeled from the minds ordeal.

Thereafter I dared not

to go back, where the grass

and flowers where dead shriveled

as by some vile sorcery.

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