Castle Hill

This is a sample poem of a Refrain Ballad written for Challenge #Four of the 2011 Spring Poetry Tournament, that I hosted.  The challenge was to write a ballad with a refrain of two lines which were repeated after every stanza. In a refrain ballad, a final refrain after the last stanza is optional.

Sunshine and summer flowers
Now decorate Castle Hill
But no amount of heat
Can warm its legend's chill

Let the story begin let it unfold
Used as a lesson from ancestors old

Long ago there stood a mansion,
Castle Manor it was named
Dreadful things happened there,
And the supernatural was blamed

Let the story begin let it unfold
Used as a lesson from ancestors old

A wealthy man coveted the hill,
Which was on a humble farm
The poor owner would not sell,
In spite of threatened harm

Let the story begin let it unfold
Used as a lesson from ancestors old

The hill held the owner's ancestors
They were buried on sacred ground
The rich man wanted it for his own,
So another way must be found

Let the story begin let it unfold
Used as a lesson from ancestors old

The owner's crops were burned at night,
A dead animal poisoned the well
His horse was butchered in its stall,
So the farmer was forced to sell

Let the story begin, the details unfold
Used as a lesson from ancestors old


In time the graves were moved,
And a mansion built on the spot
But when the rich man moved in,
Nothing would grow on the plot

Let the story begin, let it unfold
Used as a lesson from ancestors old

The mansion was a small castle
Built with the hill's gravestones
Not all of the graves were moved,
For mortar was made with the bones

Let the story begin, let it unfold
Used as a lesson from ancestors old


But no happiness could live there
Because spirits stayed there still

They say the rich man went mad,
From the nightly ghostly trill


Let the story begin, let it unfold
Used as a lesson from ancestors old


The man hung himself in the attic,
And the castle fell down to the ground
It looked like a bomb had gone off,
But no trace of a bomb could be found


Let the story begin, let it unfold
Used as a lesson from ancestors old


From these unfortunate events
Let a valuable lesson be learned
Covet not what belongs to another,
And leave graveyards unturned

The End

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