Disclaimer: I don't own the Bartimaeus Trilogy. Line is quoted from the Bible, Luke 23:44 and 23:45
Note: My first attempt at ff poetry. Never interested me much before but the next round of Write The Wrong has this as a challenge so I wanted to practice. The end of Ptolemy's Gate so, obviously, spoilers.
They Will Speak Of Us With Silver Words
"It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two."
The man in the suit is tall and lean,
His hair his neat and his hands are clean,
He stands at the top of the Parliament steps
And watches over the flaming wreck.
He stands with his hand on his breast and all
Of London is out to watch him fall
And the city burns against a darkened sky -
The man in the suit says his goodbyes.
The steps are white and the road is grey
And the sky is black and he knows he may
Not see the sun crest its rise again
There is more at stake than there's ever been.
The city lies in its cradle of fear
And the commoners run and expect to hear
Some word of faith from the Parliament few,
And he stands half-shadowed, like he always knew
Like he always knew this would happen one day.
He feels his lips unstick and say
"Little magician, how could you have known
Just how your world would be overthrown?
Don't make me laugh, you silly young man,
I know you better than anyone can.
You're afraid, you know, you think you're going to die.
I have news for you kid - so am I.
But I'll fight with you because hell, somehow
We've ended up in this chaos now
And I cannot run and I cannot leave
We're bound together 'til the last reprieve
You and I with our souls as one,
Under this sky and to the sound of drums
There's a city out there that needs our help
Not a fan of heroics, but what the hell."
The demon falls quiet and his mouth is his own.
He looses his tongue, and says, "I know,
I think I've lived for long enough
The road's been bumpy and the trail's been rough
I know I'm eighteen and I know that's young
But I also know what must be done."
He takes the staff of the fallen lord
And he bares his face to the oncoming hoards
The demons are many and the demons are strong,
In their bodies of flesh and their castles of bone
They move without pain and they move without strife
Dancing though London in a hideous light.
He gathers his strength and grips his chest
And fighting is the only thing they have left
The city is dying in a mournful din
And the man in the suit becomes the boy within.
Mandrake dies as the city burns
And Nathaniel steps up to take his turn,
With a soul in two and a last best chance
He turns with his face to the sky, and laughs.
He's never felt this kind of rush,
The awful and terrible kind of hush
That comes from noise within and out
And ends at the lines of his overcoat.
"Bartimaeus!" he cries with his head held high,
"It's time for us to do or die!"
"You don't have to be so damn gung-ho,
I hardly think it's my time to go.
But you and I are stuck in this
And if you want to be a hero I guess I'll come with.
So let's go save a few million morons
We've got some hours yet 'til dawn."
As the sun comes up they find themselves alone
With a beast unfettered by chalk or tomes
And the glass above them arches high and clear
And all about is the stench of fear
And he trembles a little as he raises the staff
He draws a breath and knows it's nearly his last -
"I am Nathaniel, your master, your death!"
Bartimaeus is gone and he is left.
He stands alone with the demon at morning
His side is bloodstained and the new day's dawning
He has done what he can; he has lived his life well
He could have done better but now who's to tell?
He has freed his friend, he has left his love,
The ceiling of glass is sparkling above.
It is his first last stand and his heart is still
He raises the staff and breaks the seal.
A hundred years of power explodes
The crystal palace and its sparkling domes,
Across the city a girl can see
And in her heart knows what it means.
There is only one thing that could cause that light
She knows it means they've won the fight
She fights back tears and she clears her head
She knows it means that he is dead.
The days fade by and the city's stopped burning,
The sun keeps rising, the world keeps turning,
The empire rises from its knees
And she can feel the agony
Of a dying era pulsing through,
Bartimaeus' words all coming true.
She stands alone with her hand on her breast
And she lays her past and heart to rest.
The grass is covered with glimmers of glass
And the sky is clear and the danger is past.
She has lost a love and she has lost a friend,
She thinks, with a smile, that at the end
He really had given it his best shot,
They'd both been wrong about quite a lot.
The promise is broken but she lives still
With the memory of London, and Nathaniel.