Disclaimer: The characters of Xena and Gabrielle belong exclusively to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures. No copyright infringement was intended through the writing of this piece.

Subtext Warning: This poem implies a relationship between two women and contains reference to rape. If this type of thing bothers you, you are under 18 or it is illegal in the state/country in which you live, read something else.

Acknowledgments: Okay, this poem was written on a suggestion after I had completed ‘Only This and Nothing More’. In fact, I’ve been given several suggestions and this is but one, maybe I should start a series called the "In The Style Of…" So, this is for Katie who came up with the idea for this one.

Author’s Notes: This poem is written in the style of Tennyson’s ‘The Lady of Shalott’. I know it is not quite the same, I’ve gone three lines followed by an indent as opposed to four, but the general style is similar. It tells the story of a young woman – the Soul (Gabrielle) whose fate it is to sit by the tombs of long dead soldiers and write about their deaths. She is interrupted by a Figure (Xena) who takes her for her own. This angers the ghosts of the long dead and they rise up and slay the Figure, yet Fate sees the love the Figure has for the Soul, and well, you’ll just have to read it.

Feedback: Love to hear what you think, I’m open to further suggestions. I’m at archaeobard@hotmail.com


The Soul That Love Forgot.



On either side the river lie
The tombs of soldiers long gone by,
Beneath the barb’d forbidden sky
Are voices long forgot.
And by and by the sorrows go,
To weep with anguish and with woe,
Lost secrets of the dead bestow’d
On the Soul that love forgot.


Alone with gloried, deathless few
There she sat in loving hue,
So displaced by Fate anew
The Soul that love forgot.
Though her words were silence driven
Far between the waters striven,
Lest her heart be wrongly given:
The Soul that love forgot.



"Lo betide the phantom shiver’d,
And with freedom freshly wither’d,
Rent the flesh so brightly livid…"
Wrote the Soul that love forgot.
And there beside a lonesome tomb
She scribed and mused ‘neath rising gloom,
Forever dreaming of the doom
Of those whom life forgot.


Though the warming day withdrew,
Then darkness stirred and wind it blew,
Still she sat, her aspect true
The Soul that love forgot.
This her Fate did seem to be,
To write and note on misery,
Her life bereft of fleeting glee:
The Soul that love forgot.


The shadows fell upon her quill,
The deepness of it mattered nil,
The Soul, she sat writing still,
For those whom life forgot.
She gazed about her darkened space,
Stood and moved about a pace,
"I fear there is a deathly grace."
Sighed the Soul that love forgot.


Then from out of sheltered mere,
Came a Figure, strong and clear,
Exuding love and hope and fear
To the Soul that love forgot.
The Figure halted when she spied
Sullen beauty concealed in pride,
A humour she could not abide:
The Soul that love forgot.


Despite the Figure’s captive way,
From her script she did not stray,
"No woman can my duty sway!"
Cried the Soul that love forgot.
The Figure shudder’d ‘fore she paled,
The silence heard was thinly veiled,
Though not as yet had she failed:
The Soul that love forgot.


For as the stoic Figure came
There was a clear and present shame,
And so it was that she laid claim
To the Soul that love forgot.
Yet now the ghosts of death appear,
As pity flicker’d and drew near,
It was the Soul that they held dear:
The Soul that love forgot.


Out from deathly grave and tomb
Came pale warriors to consume
The figure with the Fate of doom:
The Soul that love forgot.
For now the spirit was defiled
And all the hope that was reviled
Lay broken, tarnished, unreconciled:
The Soul that love forgot.


The Soul at once outcried her Fate,
She fear’d that it was now too late,
For all the minions arose with hate
For the Soul that love forgot.
The Figure strong now drew her sword
And battled bravely with the horde,
While as she fought she ignor’d
The Soul that love forgot.


The soul went down beside the river
Where echoes plain of battle shiver,
And there she sat, she knew not whither,
The Soul that love forgot.
And over time the battle won,
The ghosts came slowly, one by one,
To stand along the one they shun:
The Soul that love forgot.


The Soul arose and kneel’d before
The ghosts long dead beside the hoar,
As in some rite of ancient lore,
The Soul that love forgot.
Yet Fate despite her fleeting grace,
Could see beneath the Soul’s disgrace
The love she saw she would embrace
The Soul that love forgot.


Over through the deathly vale
Came the Figure poorly pale,
‘Twas her ghost that now availed
The Soul that love forgot.
She wandered by the ghostly brave,
Forgotten now their earthy grave,
It was the Soul that she would save:
The Soul that love forgot.


And though despite her deathly state,
Claim on th’ Soul would not abate,
She took with grievous, mortal Fate
The Soul that love forgot.
The morbid arms outstretched anew
And gathered to her ghostly view
The love and hope that she would shew
The Soul that love forgot.


And round about the ghosts did mourn,
Knowing of their new one born,
The hope of living now was torn
From the Soul that love forgot.
Yet as the spirit newly woke,
The Figure to her gently spoke,
"I am the heart that yours has broke,
The Soul that love forgot."

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