The Unseen Man

     The Unseen Man      

Early in the night, the old driver carries along

Thinking not of his journey, but the only meaningful part of it

Thinking of his destination and his directive

Given by the king to fulfill his dream

He goes to pick up three ladies

Who he will never see again


Every day, he spends all his time

Grooming and tending to horses

Content with his work, but when his work is done

Wonders how the people of the kingdom get by

When after the first time one of them meets him

They never see him again


He stops at the gate of a house, looks up

And sees a black form in the window

She lingers, but not from interest

Turning away slowly, she goes away

He wonders what makes her so sad

But never will know the whole reason


He has not picked up many people, but he knows

That on such a joyous occasion, that most

Would be refreshed or informed or gladdened by the news

But that one would be saddened…

He lingers on the thought still

While he waits for the people he will never see again


But wait, a cry of joy, delight, coming from within

He strains to hear the purest sound he has heard in years from a human mouth

But soon it is equaled by the most pathetic voice he has heard

It soon stops and then continues

Along with much tearing and several calls

From one whom he will never see again


It soon stops and his three passengers come out and close the door

So curious is he that he almost forgets his manners

But with the patron’s voice, he comes to

Comes down, opens the door, and listens

To the dying sound of a patter of feet far away

Belonging to one he will never see again


He drives along, now not even listening when he has the chance

He keeps thinking about what had happened at his destination

Wondering how the elder lady, despite her elegance

Could not have stopped her daughters, whether she tried or not

Wondering what was the reason for the mysterious behavior

At the house of the lady he will never see again


All too soon, he arrives back at the castle

The three ladies go out without thanking him

He goes to the stables, since only ladies are allowed at the ball

He listens to the instruments, their conversation being rare yet pleasant

For the time being he forgets about his passengers

Telling himself that he was not really interested in seeing them again


He relieves the gatekeeper and sits until, seven strokes after midnight,

He spots a lady going down the stairs, in great haste

She loses a slipper, turns around to retrieve it, but, after seeing the royal aide

Turns the other way, continues down the stairs

Jumps into her carriage and away rides

A lady whom the old man thinks he has never seen before


At the words, “Open the gate”, he quickens,

Rushes to the gate, opens it, and before he knows why he did it

A band of the king’s horses rushes through the gate

He watches until they are out of sight

So shocked is he by this unusual action

That he fails to catch the last glimpse of the lady that he thinks he will never see again


He goes in to talk to the aide, but fails to find him

Then, the ball ends and the servants start to leave

He asks everyone still there, but no one knows the whole story

All they can say is a lady came in and danced with the prince

And then some time later left in a hurry

Everyone is puzzled by the behavior of the lady whom they have never seen before


He goes to bed late, too confused to sleep,

He gets up early, comes out, and sees a proclamation on a wall

He reads it and realizes it is about the lady he saw

Eager to find out anything about her, he responds with unusual gladness

When the royal aide asks him to drive the carriage to help him find the lady

Whom the kingdom hopes to see again


After making several stops, they finally stop at the gate

Of the house that he visited the night before

As the aide goes in, he listens through the monotonous reading

Of the proclamation he had heard many times by now

Though it would bore some he never tires of hearing it

Knowing it deals with a person who he might see again


After the reading came the trying on

Of the slipper whose size would prove

Which one of the many ladies in the kingdom

was the lady at the ball, though its evidence was doubtful

The two younger ladies tried to make the shoe fit, but failed

Them the old man would never see again


However, the lady that the old man had seen on the night of the ball

Was fitted with the shoe and indeed a match was found

She became a princess and married the prince of the kingdom

The old man, as his duty was, drove the carriage

Through crowds of people on the way to his passenger’s honeymoon

After that day, he never was not seen again








In His Time

Great! Deep!

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