Cannibal Trees

(based on Poe’s “Annabelle Lee”)

It was many and many a year ago,
In a forest filled with trees,
That some huorns there lived whom you may know
By the name of the Cannibal Trees;
And this forest it lived with no other thought
Than to leaf and be leafed, you see.

It was an Ent whose news that was sent
To this forest filled with trees
To stir leaves with a leaf that was more than leaf-
Stirring the Cannibal Trees;
With a leaf that the branched plants of Orthanc
Would covet, no longer green.

And this was the reason that, long ago,
In this forest filled with trees,
A night filled up with a sound, filling
With rustling Cannibal Trees;
So that when highborn kinsman came
And chased orcs as they rabidly flee,
It shut them up as in a sepulcher
In this forest wild with trees.

The huorns, not half so happy when sleeping
As when luring an orc to be treed -
Yikes!- their forest keeping
(as all should know, In this forest filled with trees)
Like a wind coming out of a clouded night,
The tilling and killing by Cannibal Trees.

For their leaves there were sharper by far than the leaves
Of those who were older indeed-
O’er many fat roots did they heave-
And neither the branches a-waving above,
Nor the orcs down a-groveling on knees,
Could ever dissever the bark from the bite
Of the ravening Cannibal Trees.

For a tree never creaks without bringing me dreams
Of the rustling Cannibal Trees;
And the sprouts never rise but I see the deep eyes
Of the optical Cannibal Trees;
And so, all the night-tide, I sit down on my seat,
By my campfire, my campfire, my light and my heat,
In the clearing there by the lea,
Away from the creak-sounding trees.

- Primula