The Timekeeper | Teen Ink

The Timekeeper

May 16, 2011
By teacupsandpoems GOLD, Valley Stream, New York
teacupsandpoems GOLD, Valley Stream, New York
10 articles 5 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure--which is: Try to please everybody.
Herbert Bayard Swope

There sits a man in his workshop corner;
Oh, he was always a loner!

His only companions are his house and clocks,
One clock that surely mocks.

Forever is he damned to tend the contraption;
The fool bound his fate by surreption and with no swaption.

He sits day after day and winds it so;
The clock has become quite a foe!

How did he come to suffer with this clock you ask?
Explaining this is not at all a simple task:

One day a renowned man passed a little shop,
Where he surely did come and stop.

A different man was working on a clock at a desk;
Arranging, fixing, tuning, and all the rest.

The arrogant visitor quickly proclaimed,
“My what a clock you have there, to not own it would make me ashamed!”

The timekeeper replied, “Only if you give me your daughter, the girl I have dreamed.”
But alas the visitor's laughs only screamed.

“Very well, my daughter you will receive,” the visitor replied.
How could the love struck timekeeper realize he lied?

“Bring me her soon and you will earn your prize!”
The visitor bid him goodbye, with a mischievous look in his eye.

Days passed and the timekeeper began to worry,
So he devised a brilliant plan in a hurry.

To the warlock he went and the clock he took,
His magical lair located in a secret nook.

He begged the youthful warlock to hear his plea,
For he had no money to pay the fee.

The warlock turned thoughtful and decided to listen;
His eyes with interest and curiosity started to glisten.

The timekeeper began by telling him that he was in love:
He wanted to awe her, love her, care for her, and all the above.

The wise and powerful warlock told him,
“Take this, and fulfill your whim.”

“Do exactly as I tell you, or else you will pay.”
The list of steps the warlock began to say.

“Take this device to the autumn ball,
By midnight tonight so be sure not to stall.”

“Upon arrival turn the device on,
And your lady will become your pawn.”

“By twelve you must also gain the acceptance of her kin,
To not do so would be a fateful sin.”

The timekeeper thanked the warlock and was out the door,
His spirits really did start to soar.

The timekeeper later went to the ball and did as the warlock said,
But the anticipated success of the night was getting to his head.

The device he willed to life and the girl he had,
Alas the father he failed to remember, what a foolish lad!

Little did he realize the mistake he had made,
Until the twelve chimes of the clock began to fade.

There was a cease of festivities and mirth,
As Hell was unleashed on Earth.

Out of the dark abyss a man appeared,
Laughing as to the crowd he neared.

Soon the father of the girl before the frightened timekeeper stood,
He said, “Now I believe I was misunderstood.”

With a wave of his hand and a wink of his eye,
Sparks rained around his disguise.

A string of chants the newly revealed warlock began to voice,
“Imus ad Inferno, and don't ever say I didn't give you a choice.”

The warlock took the timekeeper and lady to Hell,
Where into a house they fell.

The warlock proceeded to turn the lady into a clock,
And all the exits he did block.

The warlock said, “Never will you leave this forsaken place,
Nevermore will anyone see your face.”

“For all eternity you are to wind this clock,” the timekeeper was told,
“Or else terror will come back at you sevenfold.”

“This is what you get for negotiating with the devil,
In this I hope you will revel.”

With that the warlock departed,
Leaving the timekeeper helplessly outsmarted.

So the gloomy timekeeper accepted his fate,
Realizing that for him it was too late.

Over time more clocks at his doorstep arrived,
The continued suffering of the timekeeper was unfortunately contrived.

And so for eternity he suffers with the clocks,
And now you see how that one clock surely mocks.

The author's comments:
"Imus ad Inferno" is Latin for "We are going to Hell."
I really wanted to write a story, but it turned into a poem, and then into a ballad. I came across the idea of a timekeeper, and everything else went on from there!

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