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"The Emerald Isle"

by Elizabeth Santos from Pottstown, PA



Before the days of knights and dragons on the Emerald Isle it's said
Lived the ghastly Beast of Bristles, some have called it "Isle of Dead"

 None have come back from this island, all who tried were spiked and burned
That is why some folks still say it is "The Isle of no return"

 It's a place of velvet meadows, lovely hills and snow white sand
What is now the Emerald Isle once was christened "No Man's Land"

 All had great desire to live there, but somehow they couldn't wrench
This wasted land from Beast of Bristles' slimy snout and sultry stench

 This creature lived a thousand years, a thousand more he would remain
A thorn of hope, a spike of fate, the bristled spear of life's disdain

 For dreaded monster, though he be, across the isle he spread his waste
The Beast of Bristles made the isle the earth's most fruitful, fertile place

 Every youth had in a vision conquering the Bristly beast
Every one who tread the isle became a bristled beastly feast

 The folks had gathered in the hall deciding that a hundred men
Would cross the channel late at night and trap him in the creature's den

 A hundred men with swords and spears and catapults to smash his brains
The most skilled fighters, slingshots, rocks, every weapon they could name

 They came upon the monster's home, the cavern wreaked of beastly grime
Surrounding it, they waited for a signal in a moment's time

 The beast emerged from out the cave, the moonlight shown his ugly head
So shocked were they who witnessed live the beast, more gruesome than was said

 The sign was given, the battle cry, the spears and rocks and arrows flew
But spiky bristles by the thousands was a force they couldn't outdo

 The dead men numbered ninety nine speared and singed, a warrior's plight
One escaped to tell the tale of beast impossible to fight

 Then one young man stood up and claimed the Beast of Bristles would be killed
He'd squelch the fire from his nostrils, leave him eyeless and dequilled

 Laughter echoed in the tavern, jokes spread wildly through the town
How could a novice gypsy traveler put a Beast of Bristles down?

 So young and thin, no warrior he who claimed the animal would die
They watched him board a little craft with just one arrow by his side

 The laughter rose with visions of a scrawny lad upon a barge
With bow and arrow by his side to kill an animal so large

 They laughed away the day and night and drank as jokes flew through the air
A gypsy with one single arrow, what a joke beyond compare

 The boy, meanwhile was coming close, he gasped for breath in musky stench
The Beast of Bristles soon appeared, the boy hid in a nearby trench

 The monster was not fooled at all he clamored in his awkward gate
Knowing what would lie ahead, the tragedy of youngster's fate

 He then appeared above the boy, bristles poised to swiftly fly
He opened wide his fiery mouth and fury marked his evil eye

 The boy within a second's time shot an arrow through the air
A secret poison gypsy potion handed down to gypsy heir

 The bristles of the beast fell off and underneath this spiky shield
There was an ugly wormy creature, not a weapon left to wield

 The boy returned upon a barge with ugly monster head in tow
He was the hero of all time, the rest's a story we all know

 They settled on the Emerald Isle that will remain forever green
And this must be an Irish tale, I heard it from a sweet colleen


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