The Spectre Knows: sixth Pale Knight

Posted by ractrose on 16 Dec 2017 in Art, Poems


The Folly

The Legend of the Pale Knight



The Spectre Knows


‘Then further,’ says the guest, ‘we are not talking about intuition. If a railwayman observe that passengers are in the habit of jumping from the cars before the train comes to a halt, he will say, ‘There you have the makings of an accident’, and may well be proved right. We do not call that prophecy.


Michelwhyte, of ninety-nine years

Seventy and more visiting old stores

of books, his favourite enviable pastime

Dust, and tiny beads of sweat…of fingertips, of saints

Of leaves’ tender gilding none else had managed to unstick

Michelwhyte, a patient wight, a slowly mummifying servant

of Christ, a man who keeps his watches, a pale knight

gliding edges of evening-hours smiles and animated eyes

Kind-hearted, pontificating Michelwhyte

The very man—astonishing!

Old Michelwhyte, living, truly? You don’t say…

‘Ay, ’tis he.’

A near century of mounting cataclysm, and the spectre knows

It Is All One

the doom of man, propagating like a cloud


The ancient sexton unearthed again by a junior reporter

sent in search of local colour


‘Ere the plague arrived in England, Godfrey had been seen

Ten villages along the coast been left without a living soul

And gales blowing down their walls

And bones of dead men lying on their beds

Still lying on their beds.’


It is unfortunately true, that one of the easiest mistakes of memory is in the ordering of events. Let me digress.


Oh, I hope you’ll take it in stages, Roscoe says. Don’t want to tax yourself, learning a new skill.


Pale Knight
The Spectre Knows: sixth Pale Knight

More of this piece on The Legend of the Pale Knight page
Sinister: seventh Pale Knight (excerpt)






(copyright 2017 Stephanie Foster)




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