Scroogical: Stave Three


The Second of the Three Ghosts

Scrooge stayed in his bed, and looked all around
But he saw nothing and heard not a sound
Expecting a ghost, he sat bolt upright
But nothing appeared in the blackness of night
He waited, and waited, and waited some more
And became aware of some light on the floor
He saw that the light came from under a door
One he was sure hadn’t been there before
He got out of bed, with a small cry of pain
(His knees didn’t bend well when it was cold or it rained)
He got to the door and he opened it wide
Stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the inside
The room had been filled, from ceiling to floor
With exquisite food, like he’d never seen before
Piles of fine meats, and garlands of fruits
With walls covered in ivy and holly to boot
And sitting on top of a throne of fine food
A gigantic man of quite cheerful mood
“Come in!” he boomed. “And look upon me!”
Scrooge bashfully entered and looked up to see
He wore a green cloak, which hung quite slack
His brown beard was thick, his hair ran down his back
And on his head wore a large holly wreath
With attached to his gown, an empty sword sheath
“Your lesson begun with a look to your past.
“Are you ready for more?” the spirit then asked
“Touch my robe! Off we go!” exclaimed the old giant
In a booming tone that made Scrooge quite compliant
And before he knew it, they were standing back down
In the heart of a market at the centre of town
Where shopkeeps and townsfolks exchanged food and goodwill
Too cheerful to notice the cold morning chill
The Ghost had brought him here to show how they thrived
In the hustle and bustle of a town come alive
Though every so often a clash would break out
Not uncommon a sight with so many about
But by sprinkling water from the torch that he held
The Ghost would restore peace, and the problems were quelled
The day had gone quickly, and soon it was night
And the streets were aglow with the torch-lit streetlights
And then they set off, and they walked down the streets
Not troubled at all by the much to his surprise
Walked the small roads, despite his great size
They arrived at a house and he gave Scrooge a smirk
And informed that they were at the house of his clerk
It was a small place, with only four rooms
With not many candles to brighten the gloom
The Ghost took his torch and, just like before
He blessed those inside as he sprinkled the door
Inside Scrooge saw Mrs Cratchit and their girls
Preparing the dinner for Bob’s safe return
And then he came in with, on piggyback
His youngest son Tiny Tim, like a man at the track
His family greeted them both with much zeal
And they sat all together to start their Christmas meal
“Why doesn’t he walk?” Scrooge said to the air
But noticed Tiny Tim limping to his chair
They seemed to enjoy themselves but all Scrooge could see
The meagre portions they ate for their tea
A small Christmas goose, with a couple of sides
And a small Christmas pud which seemed quite dry
Although they were pleased, this small family
Scrooge cried out and said, quite unhappily
“This isn’t enough to sustain such a child”
And he turned to the spirit, with a look quite mild
“Tell me, o ghost, will this young boy live?”
Said the Ghost: “That’s a gift that I cannot give.”
“Next year Tiny Tim may not be here”
In reply Scrooge could only mutter small “Oh dear”s
Then the Ghost took old Scrooge to see other folk
But the shock of Tim’s news had hit him like a stroke
But lastly they went to a vast, dead expanse
Scrooge stared to the distance, as if in a trance
But the Ghost called to him, and his lost gaze was broke
And Scrooge saw two kids holding on the Ghost’s cloak
The Present called them Ignorance and Want
They looked sickly, and pale, malnourished and gaunt
“Have they no refuge?” he asked, almost slurred
The Ghost looked at him, but said not a word
And as if his age finally caught up to him
The Ghost’s face wrinkled, and looked gloomy and grim
Slowly he lay down, in the darkness of void
And sighed the same dark sigh of the life-devoid
Then the Giant was dead, and Scrooge looked around
But he saw nothing, and heard not a sound
And he felt underneath him familiar sheets
And slowly returned the sound of the street
He was back in his bed but the night was not done
As approaching his bed was his Christmas to Come