Beware the Goblin Men

Beware the Goblin Men


"Come buy, come buy" the goblins cry
Promising fruit so sweet and fine
But Lizzie knew unfamiliar fruit
Was left better on the vine

Else it should take root in soil
A hungry hollow filled
How gleeful goblin does beguile
While the rotten seed is spilled

But little Laura was convinced
New flavours there to try
Even without a single coin
She found a way to buy

And sucked and licked the luscious fruit 
Juices dripping down her chin
The goblins left poor Laura
In a state of coy chagrin

For once tasted naught again
No longer she heard their cry
The goblin men had no need
Of what Laura could not supply

Lizzie watched her sister fade
From the poison she had drunk
The only antidote she found
Was fashioned out of spunk

So off she went to meet the men
To gather what she sought
But not a single taste had she
Of what could not be bought

And the goblin men were angry
Because Lizzie was unafraid
Their devious ploy was foiled
By the sister who never strayed

So maids beware the goblin men
With hearts as black as coal
Who tempt you with their sweetness
Just to gobble up your soul


Words: ©2020LCR
Image: No Claim


Comments

  1. As I researched sister and brother, Goblin Market was one of my reads. You took on quite a challenge and mastered it ~ beautifully.

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    1. Thank you. This poem has always been one of my favourites. A cautionary tale but there's a definite undercurrent of temptation.

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    2. Yes indeed, I could interpret it more than several ways. Best of all at 9:30am my time ~~~ CHEERS!

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  2. Some cautionary tales are forever. I wonder if the Little Mermaid would've met a different end, if she had read the poem before venturing for land...

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    1. Wouldn't have given up her tail so easily I think.

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  3. Luv this legendary take on the prompt. An interesting tale

    Much🍎love

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  4. I've loved Goblin Market since I was a child, though it was only as an adult that I appreciated the possibility of a sinister undertone. Quite a challenge to take on, to do a 're-mix' of something so well-known. You handled it with aplomb.

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    1. Thank you so much. I really adore so much of Christina's writing. Where it can be read on different levels.

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  5. Yes! Yes! Fear the goblin men...love it!

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    1. Thank you. I've never liked those goblins! :)

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  6. Well that was fun, even though quite unexpected!

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    1. Thank you. I always like a good twist.

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  7. This is great, Lori! Goblin Market is an old childhood favourite, and I love how you’ve taken the concept, the structure and rhyme and made it your own. I especially enjoyed the sounds in the lines:
    ‘And sucked and licked the luscious fruit
    Juices dripping down her chin’.

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    1. Thank you. I like how those lines flowed.

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  8. This is absolutely phenomenal, Lori!!😃 I especially love; "So maids beware the goblin men/With hearts as black as coal." Thank you so much for writing to the prompt 💘💘

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    1. Thank you Sanaa! This was an absolutely inspired prompt. I may come back and try another with one of Dante's artworks. :)

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  9. Laura and Lizzie were quite the pair, sisters. I am glad you pointed me to the Goblin Market. I consider it a might calmer than a Gothic poem but not much. And its length probably makes it one, about the only pleasant part really was some of her last lines, a dismissal. You captured that spirit very nicely.
    I did catch Christine with a cliché phrase, "One may lead a horse to water, Twenty cannot make him drink," poor Lizzie. I was taught to not use these in poetry unless they are the subject, theme, or the like.
    ..

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    1. Thank you. There are many different ways to read this poem which is why I like it so much. I actually like clichés, particularly in this case where it serves to enhance the narrative. I appreciate them for their trite truths and that they can express an idea in a way that tends to be universally understood. As long as they aren’t overused or used in the wrong context, I think they can be very effective in poetry. And in this particular instance Rossetti has altered the cliché to reinforce Lizzie’s dilemma. The actual saying is: ‘A man may lead a horse to water but he cannot make him drink.’ In Rossetti’s case she says “Twenty” cannot make him drink. It would be one thing for Lizzie to have to have stood up to one man but to stand against a horde of twenty and not be swayed to drink (of the goblin fruit) gives power to her conviction; she is obstinately defiant against the goblins who are ganging up on her. The power dynamic of one against many just makes Lizzie’s challenge to help her sister than much more dire and her triumph that much more sweet.

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  10. that was quite a poem, haha. i enjoyed the story within it and the lesson at the end. great write! thank u for sharing it.

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  11. Quite a challenge was well met. Love this, Lori!

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