The Invictus 1896

“Out of the night that covers me, black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul”. – William Ernest Henley – Invictus

“At Christmas, all roads lead home”. – Marjorie Holmes

The specter came upon them that Christmas morn, dressed as the ancient, her eyes weary and worn. And it was when each looked to see, they saw only the reflection of themselves set free. And each favored lady took it to mind, what did it mean, to know the beginning of time. So, they all gathered where all ladies wait, in the main quarters of their mysterious estate. For something had happened, that they needed to know, what was their bloodline, and from where did it flow.

The needles of pine stopped falling precisely, the minute the clock in the great hallway rang one. The darkened hearth came too so suddenly, as if awakened by some ethereally song. The aroma of secrets of soft cloth and bedding, the richness of kisses, and spells done till dawn. The veil is closing, from those so blinded. For centuries, they thirsted, for now what is won. Come dresses of linen of silk, on rose skin scented, the candles are burning, so tapered so thin. The snowflakes fall, from windows in heaven. Tongues twist to catch them to mix with hot gin. The tale the sum, the time of investment, the thousand years must stretch to no end. Time is sewn into gowns and vestments. The Invictus has come and the coven is ready for the tale to spin.

“Gather this midnight; come near my mind”, whispers sweet Mina, she whispers in rhyme, “Come ladies of mine”.

I will tell you a story, with night as its start, a legend, a secret, held deep in my heart. A dream of a talon that scratched a skin bare, in December’s wonder, a woman so faire. She bled only one drop of blood in the snow, and from it rose daemons, in beauty they glowed. What came out of Streoneshalh, from that ancient day, the birth of a witch from an Abbess that strayed? Upon such ground so formed by the ice, came manners of beings that conjure by night. And here by a summons of that woman so faire, rose a loft manor, the rooms of our lair. Oh, dreamers dream dreams, sweet ladies you are melding, dancing in spirit, your hearts all aglow. I beg you by name; bring forth the “Invictus”, come winter spirit, and in Whitby unfold.

By term, they arise, to dance in the essence, of the forboden. Past particle present, of where they began. In twos and threes, they summon the abbess, spirit that is chambered immortal within. Amazing grace, the music is playing, the manor shakes so warm from within, the half-moon falls from its place in the heavens, sweet witches pleasured by familiars of sin.

Words with no sound they come from sweet Mina, with names and stories from what has been.

The half-moon strikes the ruins of the abbey; the snow on its arches highlights shadows from in. Deep underground lies an ocean of spirits, minus one abbess who has risen again. Across winter skies comes a dark dragon, a flying red leviathan from before time began. An icy gale moves throughout Lucy’s garden, breeching dead petals, and hedgerows thick limbs. Inside the manor the festive are dancing, the ball of the “Invictus” begins! Gather your hearts, and feast from this table, the call from dead fables spins round again. Each witch’s soul has been searched by an angel, that which is ever is planted within.

“It’s the beginning,” thinks Mina, as lights cross the sky. The embers reflected like sparks in her eyes. “The beginning of ever, beyond never end”!

A very happy holiday to all and a special kiss under the mistletoe for my Whitby Ladies, Lucy, Mina, Madison Poe, Elisheba, Resa, Carlotta and Evangeline, you have certainly made the year interesting. – 12.24.2017 – דָּנִיֵּאל

75 thoughts on “The Invictus 1896

  1. Pingback: The Invictus 1896 — Daniel Swearingen | heatherdevono

      • Dear Daniel, you play with words and I like that. The best part for me is when I can find that word that has three or four meanings, and try to match it with the author’s intent. I like to think I do that with much of what you write. Happy New Year. Erin

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Once again you have transformed a new myth into a magical reality. My favorite line. “The half-moon strikes the ruins of the abbey; the snow on its arches highlights shadows from in. Deep underground lies an ocean of spirits, minus one abbess who has risen again.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Elizabeth, Thank you, for picking out a favorite line. The mystery of the still standing Abbey amazes me. We build a structure in America and it falls with a matter of a decade sometimes. Those stones can stand for a thousand years and endure both spiritual and manmade bombardment. Intriguing to me.


  3. I love this, Daniel! So, I’m logging out of GLaM. Then I can come back as Resa in my Whitby Lady gown, a proper comment to make!
    Poems come, Poems go, But only Whitby Ladies, Melt the snow.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello my Lady Resa, I was hoping you would approve, and yes you are right, the ladies and all their charm and charms, melt even the most frozen tundra. I am thinking about a possible 2018 manuscript for them, but first Frank and Joe Hardy have a mystery they have been waiting to solve, and then maybe. Happy New Year dear friend. 🙂


  4. Took me all night to change my dress! Daniel, there’s nothing like a great party, and I am so honored to be an eternal guest!
    I look forward to all and anything you do with the Whitby Ladies. I’m also looking forward to the next Hardy Boys.
    I do owe you an email, now! 😀😀
    Happy New Year to you, all you love, and especially Susan, who awaits a Whitby Gown for her induction! ⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Liked by 1 person

    • How wonderful! 😉 You are stunning in your dress, magical and almost translucent. The wonderful world of the Whitby Ladies, where all is built around goodwill, and just having a good time. 🙂 I look forward to your email, and Susan with her radiance will be a fine addition. Happy New Year my friend. 🙂


      • OOHH…Like that. Also I went and got the music for this version of the Carol of the Bells. For many years when we lived on the other side of the river I ran a music and drama biz and I still have a tattered remnant of that biz. I could have had a new one here, I turned it down. I thought quit while you’re ahead. Anyway I know exactly the tattered remnant pupil now 17 I am now off to email this morning and say get that copy. I know he will love it. It is right up his street to play. And I know he loves that carol. So thank you for the brilliant share. I have already started playing it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wow you are living an interesting life, how cool. I would love to hear more about your experiences in the music and drama biz, and probably need to read through a couple of interview with you to see if you have described that past. I am happy you liked the music, I listen to it occasionally throughout the year. I think it sparks creativity. 🙂


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