The Loathly Lady

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #21

A loathly lady here indwells,
silver-green skin, stained by the fells.

In times of pestilence and droughts
a lustful lad, lottery-chosen from hereabouts,
was tightly bound and to her given;
a practice derided as devil-bidden,

Now localΒ lads in texting, gaming,
stay away, and who can blame them.
Though the lonesome loathly lady might berate:
Behold, her current mate-less hateful state.

Written for Crimson’s Creative Challenge #21

About crispina kemp

Spinner of Asaric and Mythic tales
This entry was posted in Crimson's Creative Challenge, Poems (Some Silly) and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

44 Responses to The Loathly Lady

  1. Violet Lentz says:

    Ooooo I love that! What a portrait you painted!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ohhhh what a unique tale about a lonesome lake lady who some think is loathsome but I think is rather mysteriously magical. I truly love this poem. πŸ’š

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      I thank you. It’s based on a European folktale, found in various guises from Russia to Ireland, from Scotland to Greece, with local variations.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’d never heard of it! And you know, they say folk talks originate from a truthful telling…. ;-0

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I have my theories on it. We know from the finds of the so-called Bog People, that in UK and Scandinavia, from Iron Age onewards, humans were killed and given to the ‘bogs’ (pits, marchy areas). Then there’s the bogie-man type tale, told to keep the kinds safely away from such places,, Archaeology tells us such places were used for various deposits since Mesolithic times. The Iron Age are more recent, the preservation excellent, and so we know more about them than what wnet before.
        And then there’s the nixies and neckers, the water spirits, taiil of a fish, upper body of a seductive woman, spirit of ferility, and protective. Probably the receiving deity for all those sacrifices.
        We live in different times. And for all the ills in the world, it’s still better than the past.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Jen Goldie says:

    Interesting and extremely thought provoking. Beautiful in fact. πŸ™‚πŸŒΌπŸŒΉ

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ennle Madresan says:

    WOW WOW WOW–and standing ovation, BRAVO!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the rhythm and the imagery which builds up a beautifully atmospheric picture.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dale says:

    Gah! I just realised that I had not commented or ‘liked’ this yet! My bad…

    This was wonderful and must agree, the rhythm and imagery and atmosphere… so enjoyed

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ramyani Bhattacharya says:

    Wow. The perfect place for the lady I thinkπŸ€”

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved this, Crispina! These evil pool spirits are some of my favourite from folklore…they’re so chilling. And the opening lines of your poem are perfect! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • crimsonprose says:

      I thank you, Sammi. They’re my favourites too. I see them as more ancient than the Germanic imports.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Me too…the link to votive offerings in pools suggests that there has been a mythology surrounding them much longer than that. Of course, in a similar vein are the bog bodies…

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        Yea, but the bog-bodies are Iron Age, aren’t they? You can understand with the climate changes, it was growing colder, wetter, duller, deep moss spreading over land previously put to grain, yea, I can imagine they had need to send their pleas by sending the gods a man (child or woman)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I think the majority of them are from the Iron Age. It must have been terrifying for them to believe they had to resort to such lengths…

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        It was possibly considered an honour to take the people’s pleas to the gods. Otherwise, it was as humane a way of treating criminals as any devised during the Middle Ages.

        Liked by 1 person

      • For sure. And yet, not understanding the drastically changing climate…I can’t help but wonder at the fear for the future they must have felt, as the landscape altered before their eyes in some cases…

        Liked by 1 person

      • crimsonprose says:

        I know, Rapid deterioration. I’ve read some of the accounts of the weather extremes that preceded the Maunday Minimum. Despite much more was known about weather and climate, there were still appeals to God, Jesurs and the saints … Hmmm.

        Liked by 1 person

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