A Lament for Gothic Romance

I was invited at rather short notice to contribute to a Friday the 13th, Unlucky in love night of miserable poetry. I wrote the piece especially, not having anything suitable. as laments go… it seemed to elicit a lot of giggling. Words below for anyone who can’t get along with video.


Gothic romance

I wanted a black dress, damn you to hell

With a hearse to arrive in and mourners as well

A bunch of dead roses to hold at my thigh

With brown crisped up leaves all crumbling dry.

I wanted a honeymoon, somewhere remote

With a host and a ghost and a sacrifice goat

And rings on my fingers and bells on my toes

And a bloody great raven as mournful as Poe’s.

Then back to the castle for cobwebs and gin

Things claw at the window and try to get in.

Where others than we would go bump in the night

Surrounded by those most unfond of the light

I wanted to sleep in a velvet lined coffin

While down in our basement some misshapen boffin

Makes mechanised prayers to evoke elder gods

And hatches unspeakable things out of pods.

I wanted the spiders, the webs and the dust

The squeal of a hinge overtaken by rust

A pendulous promise of doom in the air

And decay and delusion and also despair.


You took me for afternoon tea, in Cirencester.

Sure. I like scones as much as the next person

But I knew, from that moment, we were doomed.

And not in a good way.


You hand picked me roses all sprinkled with dew

And proceeded to write me a sonnet or two.

Then hired a man with a lute and a hat

To sing under my window. He looked like a prat.

Oh you took me to dances, you took me to France,

You spoke of eternity and of romance.

You bought me a cottage, a pony, a ring,

But darling, you see it just isn’t my thing.

And yes, your whole family seems very nice

But I picture them bloody and frozen in ice.


I wanted a poet whose heart had been broken

Whose tears were all real and whose bleeding not token.

I wanted the raw and the driven insane

But you sent me kittens, not pathos and rain.

I wanted the tortuous depths of your soul

Not this shiny courtship, I fear it’s your goal

To marry me, make me a comfy old wife

Condemned to be cheerful the rest of my life.

And so sweetest darling there’s nothing to do,

But create my own tragic ending for you

A wedding day accident, that would have charms

So cruelly snatched from your new wife’s pale arms

Then I can weep and float round in a veil

Faint for no reason, from time to time wail.


Who dares to say gothic romance is dead?

You’ll find all you need, in my coffin shaped bed.


(If you want any more silliness, there’s also Intelligent Designing for Amateurs)


About Nimue Brown

Druid, author, dreamer, folk enthusiast, parent, wife to the most amazing artist -Tom Brown. Drinker of coffee, maker of puddings. Exploring life as a Pagan, seeking good and meaningful ways to be, struggling with mental health issues and worried about many things. View all posts by Nimue Brown

2 responses to “A Lament for Gothic Romance

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