by Guilhem, editor
Clarke's Printery is Honored to Present
Tales from Ages Past!
Guilhem the Scholar Shall End Each Volume with Staid Commentary.
In the Wind where the Balance
Is Whispered in Hallways
In the Wind where the Magic
Flows All through the Night
There live Mages and Mages
With Robes made of Whole Days
Reading Books full of Doings
Printed on Light
In the Wind where the Lovers
Are Crossed under Shadows
Where they Meet and are Parted
By the Orders of Fate
The Girl becomes Tree
And thus becomes Widow
The Boy becomes Earth
And Wanders Till Late
In the Wind are the Monsters
First Born First Created
When Chanting and Ether
Mix Meddling and Night
Fear going to Wind
Fear Finding its Plaitings
Go Not to the Snakehills
Lest You Care To Die
The meaning of this verse
has oft been discussed in halls of scholarly sorts.
Perhaps it is but the remnant of a
longer ballad once extant, for there are internal indications that it once told a longer
story about ill-fated lovers, and magical experiment gone awry. However, poetic license
and the folk process has distorted the words until now the locale of the tale is no more
than "in the wind," which while it serves a pleasingly metaphorical purpose,
fails to inform the listener as to any real locale!
Another possibility is that this is some form of creation myth
explaining the genesis of the various humanoid creatures that roam the lands of Britannia.
It does not take a stretch of the imagination to name the middle verse's "girl
becomes tree" as a possible explanation for the reaper, for in the area surrounding
Minoc, reapers are oft referred to amon the lumberjacking community as
The verse seems to imply a long ago creator, and uses the antique
magickal terminology of "plaiting strands of ether" that is so often found in
ancient texts. In addition, the reference to "snakehills" may well be regarded
as a reference to an actual location, such as perhaps a local term for the Serpent's
A commoner interpretation is that like many nursery rhymes, it is a
simple explanation for death, whereing the wind snatches up boys and girls when they sleep
in order to keep the balance of the world. Notable tales have been written for children of
adventures in "the Snakehills," which are presumed to be an Afterworld whence
the spirit liveth on. A grim lullabye, to be sure, but no worse than "lest I die
before I wake" surely.
In either case, 'tis an old favorite, hering printed for the first
time for thy enjoyment and perusal!
-Guilhem the Scholar