Wednesday, December 19, 2012

"Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Pemberley ..."

Some of you may remember the adaptation of "The Gift of the Magi" I wrote for the holidays two years ago (read "The Darcy's Gift" here). Here is something in the same vein for your season amusement. Clement Moore, like Miss Austen and Mr. O'Henry before him, will forgive the liberty, I am sure.

I also thought to use the occasion to unveil the cover design for the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo. Holidays at Pemberley: A Tale of Less Pride and Prejudice Concludes spans from the end of First Impressions, through the course of Second Glances, and wraps up the story of my re-imagined Darcys and Bingleys.The action, as you may guess from the title, is centered around the Christmas holidays, when Charlotte Lucas, the heroine, visits Pemberley. Look for it this time next year. I am sorry that it looks like Second Glances will not make its debut until January. Stay posted for more information as I receive it.

The following tale should in no way be mistaken as a reference to or reflective of my novels, despite my opportunistic promotion of the latter. Enjoy!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through Pemberley
The people were engaged in seasonal festivity.
Each hall bedecked in evergreen boughs
Muffling the echoes of footsteps oft loud.

The fires roared in joyous determination
To add to the momentous occasion,
And as for stockings from the mantels hung there
They might just get singed if no one took care.

How fortunate then for these halls reputed
To have by Bennets been thusly polluted,
That the matron of this slandered clan
Should be standing by, ready at hand. 

For action swiftly must be taken
Against an addition most mistaken,
No time to summon a footman here.
In just a moment the Darcys may appear.

No matter that the table was tall,
Nor Mr. Bennet predicting her certain fall, 
The situation must be rectified.
She could not patiently sit by.

Upon the table she determined to mount,
Decrying the servants, "Could they not count?
Why should they hang up stockings four,
When only three Darcys are here anymore?"

Her sad words were undeniably true,
For children the house was now one too few.
The baby who last year brought joy to their fireside
 Was now but a memory - a dream of eventide.

Beside Mr. Bennet, the young master stood sage,
A sturdy young man far too old for his age.
To contradict Granddad would be horribly rude,
But Grandmother's actions he wholly approved.

For it would not do to remind Mama again
Of the sweet little sister whose loss brought such pain
To his once happy family, especially his mother,
Whom he loved above and beyond any other.

The morning all had enjoyed a ride in the sleigh,
And the gathering of greenery, wherever it lay,
But though she had smiled, acting as if all were well,
Something troubled Mama. He could always tell.

"There!" cried Mrs. Bennet, flourishing her trophy,
But just at that moment, in walked Mrs. Darcy.
She looked up at her mother, perched shakily on high,
Her son studying closely, to see if she should cry.

When all of a sudden there rose such a clatter
That all felt alarm to see what was the matter.
 It was with relief they were able to discern
That Elizabeth was laughing, her face far from forlorn.

"Mama! Please tell me what on Earth you are doing,
Besides spoiling the surprise Fitzwilliam and I have been brewing."
She helped her mother step down to a chair.
"I said not to meddle," Mr. Bennet declared.

Mr. Darcy came in, and perceiving the scene,
He glanced to his wife and saw her eyes beam.
Both mother and father took their son by a hand,
And made such announcements as must always be grand. 

The springtime would see the birth of a new child.
A fitting event for a season so mild.
The wise little man knew not what to do,
But to ask once again, "Can this really be true?"

Upon much assurance he allowed himself to feel
That their trials were over: that now they might heal.
And throwing his arms round her neck oh so tight,
"Happy Christmas," he lisped, "the best of all nights!"

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