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The Epic

It was a dark and stormy night,
The kind of night that could cause a fright
To anyone of a delicate nature,
Like the hero of this story, Mr. Harry M. Craitcher.

The rain pounded against the window panes,
Going wild were the weather vanes.
Harry looked up from his mystery book,
And carefully got out of his chair for a look.

He studied the raging windy storm,
This was really apart from the norm.
A loud knock suddenly sounded throughout the hall,
Harry could hear through the library wall.

He walked arthritically to the door,
And, opening it, was surprised the more.
For there on the threshold of his house,
Stood a small little creature we often call a mouse.

Now Harry M. Craitcher was a very sensible man,
Though often he forgot to drain his greasy sausage pan.
He figured that a prank had been pulled by the village boys,
For how could such a little mouse make such a great loud noise?

He rubbed his big white whiskered chin,
And reasoned it out time and again.
But try as he might, he just could not conclude
How a mouse could make a noise of such magnitude.

The lightning flashed and the thunder cracked
So close that it sent Harry sailing back.
He stumbled backwards into a chair,
Then Harry saw something that just made him stare,

For when the lightning flashed yet again,
He saw the image of a hundred men
Standing before him where once was the mouse,
And one by one they came into his house.

Now, being of such a delicate nature,
This was too much for Harry M. Craitcher.
What few hairs of his that were still black turned white,
And he ran from the room as he screamed with fright.

The storm kept raging and the phantoms kept coming,
Then throughout the house, the sound of demonic humming.
The humming turned to a spoken voice forlorn,
And with these words was Harry warned,

"The past has repeated, the village is burned,
The king is dead, and the tables have turned.
The night grows old, and the light grows bright,
But yet you may see a glimpse, just a sight."

"The day of the battle is drawing nearer than you think,
The Dark and Light will lock horns at the river's brink.
So choose, now sir, the path that you will travel,
But hurry, for the morning dawns like the slap of the judge's gavel"

And with these words the voice faded, and the phantoms stopped coming,
And it took every ounce of will Harry could summon,
But he quietly, cautiously, walked to the door,
And saw on the doorstep the mouse as before.

The lightning flashed one last time, and the mouse disappeared,
And Harry, shivering, filled with fear,
Questioned in his mind what this all meant,
Why the mouse and the phantoms chose him to torment.

The lightning cracked it's whip once again,
Harry felt dizzy, the room began to spin.
When at last he got himself arighted,
He saw a figure that was on a horse alighted.

The figure bore a royal air,
The clothes he wore showed not a tear,
Harry felt compelled to bow,
He wasn't exactly sure just how.

The figure wore a crown of gold,
For he was a king of old.
A shining sword held by his side.
Blue and keen were his sharp eyes.

Little did Harry know, this guy
Would prove to be his greatest ally.
Not many people are allowed to meet,
The king who with his proper name is discreet.

"Who are you?" Our hero asked, scared,
The king, with his crown on his graying head of hair,
Looked at him fiercely, as if to examine Harry's soul,
Boldly said, "I am King Arthur, from Camelot of old."

"That battle has brought me here to your time,
For you have chosen, and the choice is not mine.
It is now time for you to choose, which side you will aid,
The Light, or the Dark, the side that has strayed."

Our hero weighed the issue in his mind,
The Light, or the Dark, the side so cruelly defined.
Harry decided, and made his mental choice,
And he told the king with a steady voice.

"I'll fight for the Light." Our hero said, unafraid,
The king looked joyful, and then he bade,
"Come here, my boy, and kneel before me,
That I might take my sword, and knight thee."

Harry knelt arthritically, upon the ground,
And when he was knighted, he suddenly found,
He was now a young man, with armor and sword.
The king said, "Come my knight, and climb aboard."

Sir Harry leaped agilely upon the king's horse,
And tightened his grip around the king, of course,
They took off, before the light of dawn,
To times of battle and strife beyond.

The horse galloped on, and to Harry's dismay,
He could see all the buildings fading away,
Mile after mile the king's horse did trot,
'Til he spied a castle, Camelot.

"We will plan for the battle at Camelot," the king said,
"But first, we need rest, so off to bed,
We will plan our strategy at first crack of dawn."
"Yes, your highness," Harry said with a yawn.

Harry retired to his chambers, alone,
The walls were thick and made of stone,
Harry climbed into bed and began to sleep,
And dreamed of the battle, in valleys so deep.

The next day dawned, Harry woke up,
And then went to breakfast, his food to sup.
The breakfast was odd, with strange foods galore,
But Harry ate as if he always ate with the lords of yore.

The breakfast was finished, the knights gathered round,
At the table in the hall, of which the his'try books sound.
Harry saw many knights, of whom he'd heard before,
From storybooks, fairy tales, and of course, much folklore.

They discussed the strategies for the big battle yonder,
And as they talked, they of their castle grew fonder.
Plans were figured, and some were cast away,
For no plans but the best, would work that fateful day.

"Divide and conquer," said Sir Lancelot,
One of the king's favorites at Camelot.
"Sneak around and attack from the rear,"
Said Sir Galahad, whom the king held dear.

Gawaine and Robin suggested their plans,
And every knight in turn, to the very last man,
But none pleased the king, he was getting quite vexed,
And considered calling on Merlin to place a hex.

The king turned his head, and saw his newest knight,
And noticed he was not contributing, nor planning in slight.
"What say you, my knight?" The king asked, jolting Harry with a start,
And then Harry answered, answered straight from his heart.

"My liege, I think that we should start, right here upon the plain,
You see, if we start there, we will surprise them all the same,
Then we can take them, by the fist and by the sword,
And if they prove too much for us, the river we can ford."

"By Excalibur, he's right!" The king himself exclaimed.
"And all the moves and territories, he's thought out and explained!"
The knights and lords, who were all in service of the Light,
Nodded and approved, Harry's plan to fight.

The very next hour for battle they were prepared,
But even with his youthful bravery, Harry was still scared.
A life time of fear is a hard habit to break,
But Harry knew the king he could not forsake.

Silver swords were sharpened, iron maces were shined,
Harry was given a weapon, one he couldn't define.
When he drew the blade from the iron wrought hilt,
A sword of light appeared, shining as if it was gilt.

Silver and golden, it shone like the sun,
And Harry could sense this battle would be won.
But as soon as this thought to Harry did occur,
He heard the sound of the king's sword, Excalibur.

Before he knew it, the battle was raging,
And Harry could once again feel himself aging.
But he collected his courage and wielded his sword
Against the army of darkness, that terrible horde.

The blade of light shone gold and true,
A passing knight said, "That light comes from you!
The braver the heart, and the purer the mind,
Makes the blade shine, and things of that kind."

Harry was then back in his house
He looked on his doorstep- there still was the mouse
He wondered if it had all been a dream
Then a figure appeared and Harry did scream

The figure, he stood on the doorstep austere
The voice was that of a man- Paul Revere
"I hear you have chosen to fight for the light
I must assure you that your decision was right."

"Come let us go we must warn all the people
Of the war that is being waged with evil."
Once again Harry a horse did alight
But this time he was filled with no fright.

They rode through the town as fast as they could,
Harry felt the years stripping, like bark from wood,
They rode through the mist, again back in time,
To save the world, who was to its fate sublime.

Harry now realized they were finally there,
He was now a youth, with all his hair,
A musket in hand, and blue cap on his head,
He marched with his men, armed with bullets of lead.

He grabbed his musket with a muscular arm
He loaded his musket and then caused great harm
He shot the gun time and again
The enemy they nearly jumped out of their skin.

And then he felt the years begin to speed away
His skin was getting wrinkled, his hair was getting gray
When Paul revere saw this, he looked at him and smiled,
"You were a great warrior, when you were merely a child."

"I know that you have summoned the power from within
You are very brave, braver than many men."
And with those words he departed and Harry was back at his house
And there still on his doorstep was that small frightening mouse.

Harry was feeling brave and true,
And waited for thanks that was his due.
But then a sad ghost of man with a beard,
Wafted in and began to draw near.

"You haven't learned a lesson, my son,
Unless you know when to just get your job done.
You fought quite a fight, that for sure is true,
But many a man sacrificed more than you."

Harry was confused, and felt very sad,
The ghost's long face was full of pity, not mad.
"Another battle you must fight, not with mace and sword,
But in this battle, I promise you, you will not be bored.

You see my boy, the battle's won
Only when the fighting's done.
Not when lives are wasted and lost,
But never without a great big cost."

The ghost floated toward Harry, with its great big mournful face.
And as Harry watched, they began to float away through time and space.
Harry felt his age strip back, like dead skin from a snake.
And when he looked around him, he could feel his heart break.

Row after row of sad faced men
Caged like animals inside a pen.
The smell of death hung thick in the air,
And a feeling of hopelessness and despair.

The anti Christ was upon the land,
And Harry knew he had to take a stand.
"I feel your fear," said the ghost to Harry,
"But the battle awaits, and we must not tarry."

"If I defeat the beast, will that be the end?"
The ghost looked at Harry and said, "No, my friend,
The beast we are fighting is one among many,
So you must conquer your fear if you still have any."

"But wasn't there another war, a few more years ago?
A war that was full of strife and tears, that hurt so much more so??
Harry found himself in a battle scene
Full of warriors and soldiers mean.

He ran from many cannons that day
But he was hit and his nerves did fray.
He was transported to a hospital near
It was then that he saw her face so dear.

She helped the sick and healed the lame
And Elizabeth Rose was her name.
Harry, he fell in love that day
And wished that he could forever there stay....

But there were other battles he had to fight,
And once again he rode into the night....
To another battle in the war of the states
Brother against brother in a battle of hate

He grew hungry and tired
As the giant cannons fired
But one thing kept his life alight,
The face of the girl he had met that night.

The smell of gunpowder and smoke filled the air,
Harry still saw the face so fair,
He tried to erase it from his mind,
Knowing he would have to leave it behind.

All around him, soldiers on both sides died,
But Harry fought on, though he was terrified.
And once again the years took their toll,
And Harry was once again tired and old.

Then the battle was done,
"Good job, my son."
A withered voice said wearily.
As Harry smiled tearfully.

Then Harry found himself in a crowd
Before him a man stood tall and proud
Harry recognized the face of the ghost
It was Mr. Lincoln who was now his host

"Four score and seven years ago..."
He didn't hear the rest, for he had to go
But before he left, Abe gave him a smile
To let him know that it would all be worthwhile

Then at home he was again,
He waited for another battle to begin,
But instead came his king,
Who started to sing.

In a deep bass voice from the heart of his soul,
He told Harry about the battles of old,
And Harry realized that they were just a test,
To see how many people he could best.

But now the great battle's time was at hand,
The Dark was rising, sweeping upon the land,
The Light rose to meet it, and they clashed in the sky,
And the king rode away, leaving Harry to wonder why.

And once again on the step did appear
That same old mouse, but he had no fear.
For he knew that the mouse stood for the light
And was just a reminder to keep up the fight.

It was then that the last spirit did appear
And Harry knew that the final battle was near.
He knew that he must fight for the light
And he shivered in fear as he considered his plight.

In a voice full of evil the spirit did wail'
"There's one battle you must win for the light to prevail."
Then the low mournful humming he had heard before
As a hundred ghosts once again appeared at the door..

He could feel the legions behind him form
And the sky turned black as it began to storm.
Harry withdrew his sword with might
And he showed no fear in this final fight.

In the forces of darkness Hitler stood
And the KKK hiding beneath their hoods.
Braying soldiers, billowing cloaks
Many people took them for jokes.

Judas was there in the midst of the horror
With the populations of Sodom and Gomorra.
And every evil spirit from the region of hell
But against the light one by one they fell.

But also fell the men of the light,
For it takes great strength to battle through night.
Harry fought onward, into the ranks of foes,
Keeping in his heart that night, the beautiful Elizabeth Rose.

He looked around at the wounded men,
Harry knelt on the ground to try to help them
"If only a piece of clean cloth was around, "
When suddenly he heard a sound.

Harry turned and gave a cry of delight,
For who should come into his line of sight,
But the girl of his dreams, light and quick,
Risking her life to help the sick....

"Hold his head" she commanded Harry,
Hearing her tone, he did not tarry,
Her fingers expertly probed the wound,
Retrieving a bullet with the aid of a spoon.

Then air was filled with sound,
As bullets flew above the ground,
Harry gasped as he was hit,
Elizabeth grabbed her medical kit.

She bent over Harry, examining him,
But there was not much time, his eyes were growing dim
Elizabeth's eyes filled up with tears,
And Harry felt once again the years

Everything was going gray,
As if it was night instead of day,
Harry closed his eyes and breathed his last,
And his life was then the past.

The sunshine was warm,
Unlike the former storm.
Harry awoke to the sound of birds,
And, strangely, they were singing in words.

"Well done Harry, the battle is won,
The dark is defeated, the war is done,
You have proved to be true and brave
And valiantly you the light did save."

It was then that the voice did disappear
And silence was all that Harry could hear.
He walked arthritically to his porch
Expecting to see a ghost with a torch.

But all looked perfectly normal that day
And Harry cooped up in his house couldn't stay.
He decided to take a stroll through the park
He heard the birds sing and he heard the dogs bark.

Harry then heard someone whisper his name.
He turned around and then toward him came
A frail little old lady his name did call.
And Harry could not believe what he saw

He murmured two words: Elizabeth Rose
And just for one moment all time froze.
Just two people were there in the world
Two people who had been through history hurled.

Together again they walked hand in hand
Then before a judge they did stand.
I now pronounce you husband and wife
Never again to experience strife.

As they approached the little old house,
Where on the porch again was a mouse,
They then saw Harry's king,
Who came to give them one last thing

"Sir Harry, you have served me more,
Than all my knights in times of war.
Now my son, come close to me,
That I might do one thing for thee."

And with those words, King Arthur laid,
One hand upon Elizabeth's braid,
And yet one more on Harry's head,
And then he softly, smilingly said,

"Go your way, my children young,
For your songs are not yet sung,
You have many days upon this earth,
Because of your self sacrifice and good works."

Then Harry looked at his new bride,
And something new about her spied,
Her face was clear, and younger too,
Her whole self had been cleansed and renewed.

Then a voice Harry did hear
A voice familiar to his ear
"Return to your life, for this chapter we close,
And live long and happy with Elizabeth Rose."

The End

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