SCROOGE and MARLEY (Deceased)
A POEM by Paul Curtis
BASED ON THE STORY by
Charles Dickens “A CHRISTMAS CAROL”
STAVE 5 - THE END OF IT
VERSE 1 - REDEMPTION
Yes! And the bedpost was his own as was the bed
The room was his and the curtains on the bedstead
But the Best and happiest of all and most amazing
The Time before him was his, to make amends in!
"I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!"
He repeated, as he scrambled out of bed “I assure”
"The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.
On my knees I say it on my knees, old Jacob Marley!
Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this
He was fluttered and glowing and brimful of bliss
He had sobbed hard in his struggle with the spirit
And his face was wet with tears as evidence of it
He folded a bed-curtain about him as if held in a spell
Then he cried "They are not torn down, rings as well
They are here, I am here and the would be shadow
Will be dispelled all the shadows will be! That I know"
All this time his hands busied with his shirt and gown
Pulling them inside out and turning them upside down,
Scrooge was both laughing and crying simultaneously
And the said “I don't know what to do! I don’t really"
"I am as light as a feather,” he said skipping with joy
“I’m happy as an angel, I’m merry as a schoolboy
I’m giddy as a drunken man” he staggered and twirled
“Merry Christmas and happy New Year to the world!"
He had danced off into the sitting room in his excess
And was now standing there winded and breathless
"There's the saucepan that the gruel was in!" he cried
Setting off again, and dancing around about the fireside
"There's the door, by which Marley’s Ghost entered at
And the corner where the Ghost of Christmas Present, sat
There's the window where I saw the wandering Spirits.
It’s all true, it all happened. And I haven’t lost my wits!"
He laughed heartily amazing for a man out of practice
It was a splendid illustrious laugh born of joy and bliss
Even he didn’t believe the brilliant laughter was his
Then he said, "I don't know what day of the month it is,"
"I don't know how long I've been among the Spirits
I don't know anything. And I don't care.” He admits
He was halted suddenly by the church bells ringing out
The lustiest peals he had ever heard without any doubt
He ran to the window, opened it, and put out his head.
No fog, no mist, but clear, bright, stirring, cold instead
Golden sunlight; heavenly sky; sweet fresh air, glorious
And the merry-bells pealed out oh, glorious Christmas!
Scrooge called down to a boy in Sunday clothes, “Hey!”
Scrooge paused to chuckle “You boy What's to-day?"
"Eh?" returned the boy, with all his might of wonder.
"What's to-day, my fine fellow?" Scrooge called louder
"To-day?" replied the boy. "Why, its Christmas Day."
"I haven't missed it.” Scrooge said “its Christmas day!
The Spirits have managed to do it all in one night
Well they can do anything they like, that’s right
Yes of course they can. Hallo, my fine young fellow!"
"Hallo!" returned the boy still standing down below
"Do you know the Poulterer's, in the next street but one
On the corner?" he inquired smiling when he had done.
The boy replied a little puzzled "I should hope I did,"
"An intelligent boy!" said Scrooge. "A remarkable kid!
Do you know whether they’ve sold the prize Turkey?
That was hanging up there, the great big one obviously?"
The boy replied smartly "What, the one as big as me?"
"What a delightful boy!" said Ebeneezer laughingly
"It's a pleasure to talk to him. Yes, my young fellow"
"It's hanging their now," replied the boy. “That I know”
"Is it?" said Scrooge. "Go and buy it my young lad"
"What!" exclaimed the boy “You must be raving mad”
"No, no," said Scrooge, "I am in earnest, Go and buy it,
Tell them to bring it here, and I will give an address for it”
At first the boy seemed a little reluctant to do the job
“Then come back with the man, and I'll give you a “bob”.
Do it under five minutes and I'll make it half-a-crown."
The boy was off like a shot to find the Poulterer’s in town
"I'll send it to Bob Cratchit's!" Scrooge whispered low
And laughed heartily as the boy ran off through the snow
"It will be a surprise it's twice the size of Tiny Tim”
Sadly he reflected Bob would not suspect it sent by him
VERSE 2 – A POULTRY SUM AND TWO PORTLY GENTLEMEN
The hand he wrote the address in was not a steady one
But he wrote it and went down-stairs when it was done
As he stood, awaiting arrival of the Poulterer’s man
The knocker caught his eye, he thought how it all began
He touched it gently and admired its kind expression
The Turkey arrived and he labeled it with its destination
The Poulterer’s man was dispatched to Camden in a cab
And Scrooge duly paid half a crown out to the lad
Throughout his dealings with the Turkey and the boy
Scrooge chuckled unable to suppress his obvious joy
After shaving he dressed himself up all in his best
And at last got out into the streets and felt well blessed
People were by this time pouring forth to great extent
As they had when with the Ghost of Christmas Present
Scrooge walked with his hands behind him for a while
And he regarded every one with a most delighted smile
He looked so irresistibly pleasant that more than a few
Said, "Good morning, sir. A merry Christmas to you."
Scrooge had not gone very far along his way when
Coming towards him he beheld the portly gentlemen
Who walked into his counting house on Christmas Eve
And said to him, "Scrooge and Marley's, I believe."
A pang of regret crossed his heart as he recalled it
They may wish to avoid him he was forced to admit
But their displeasure he would just have to face
"My dear sir," said Scrooge, quickening his pace,
And taking the older gentleman by both his hands
"How do you do. I hope you succeeded in your plans”
He then turned his attention to the other man’s partner
“It was very kind of you. A merry Christmas to you, sir!"
"Mr. Scrooge?" the man said his dislike obvious to view
"That’s my name, and I fear not a pleasant one to you
Allow me to ask your pardon. And have the goodness"
Here Scrooge whispered in his ear and eased his distress
"Lord bless me!" he cried as if his breath were taken
"My dear Mr. Scrooge, are you serious? Am I mistaken?"
"If you please," said Scrooge. "And not a farthing less.
A great many back-payments are included in it, I confess
Will you do me that favor?" Scrooge asked of them
"My dear sir," said the other, shaking hands with him
"We don't know what to say to such munificence. Sir"
"Please say nothing," He retorted “I would prefer”
"Come and see me. Will you come and see me?"
"We will!" they both cried who would do it clearly
"Thank you both, I am much obliged Bless you!"
After his meeting it was the church that he went to
He walked the streets watching people come and go
Sharing smiles and hello’s as they hurried to and fro
Scrooge found that everything could yield him pleasure
A simple walk gave him happiness beyond measure
VERSE 3 – CALLING ON A NEPHEW
In the afternoon he turned his steps in another direction
Towards his nephew's house to accept his invitation
He passed the door a dozen times before his visit
When he found the courage he made a dash at it
He asked the girl "Is your master at home, my dear?"
"Yes, sir." She replied in a voice polite and clear
"Where is he, my love?" He said with some finesse.
"He's in the dining-room, along with my mistress
I'll show you up-stairs, if you please." The girl said
"Thank you. He knows me, he’s my nephew Fred"
Scrooge said, his hand already on the dining-room lock.
"I'll go in here, my dear." He entered without a knock
He sidled his face in, round the door silent and supple
Fred and his young wife were looking at the laden table
The table was spread in great array for the festivities
And the young housekeeper doubtful about her abilities
“Fred!" said Ebeneezer Scrooge a little fainthearted.
Dear heart alive, how his niece by marriage started.
Scrooge forgot about her sitting in the quiet corner
With footstool, or he would not have startled her
"Why bless my soul!" cried Fred, "Who's that there?"
"It's I. Your Uncle Scrooge. I have come to dinner.
Does the invitation hold? Will you let me in, Fred?"
“Let you in? I couldn’t be happier,” the nephew said
When uncle and wife were introduced Scrooge hesitated
And said “May god forgive me for the years I’ve wasted”
Let him in indeed Fred could not have been happier
He was at home nothing could have been heartier
Scrooge saw that his niece looked just the same.
So did Topper and the plump sister when they came
There was wonderful happiness and much partying.
But he was early at his counting house next morning.
VERSE 4 – BACK TO THE COUNTING HOUSE
Oh he was early there. If he could only be there first
And catch Bob Cratchit come late! And see him cursed
That was the thing Scrooge had set his heart upon
And so he did and he sat and saw nine o’clock gone
The clock struck nine. No Bob. A quarter past. No Bob.
It was undoubtedly so that he was tardy for his job
He was full eighteen minutes behind his usual time
Bob knew that to Scrooge it was a cardinal crime
Bob’s hat was off even before he opened the door
His comforter too was taken off his neck before
Scrooge sat with his door wide open, so he might see
As Bob Cratchit crept in toward his desk silently
He was on his stool in a jiffy and picked up his pen
An accustomed voice growled “What time is this then?”
"What do you mean by coming here this time of day?"
Bob’s heart sank as he thought he was about to pay
"I am behind my time,” said Bob "I'm very sorry, sir"
"You are" observed Scrooge. "Yes. I think you are.
Step this way, if you please Mr. Cratchit" he said
"It's only once a year, sir, It shall not be repeated.
I was making rather merry yesterday, sir." he pleaded
"Now, I'll tell you what, my friend," Scrooge said
"I am not going to stand this sort of thing any more”
He continued, leaping from his stool “And therefore,"
Then he dug Bob in the arm with his finger quite firmly
And said "And therefore I am about to raise your salary."
Bob trembled, and thought about calling a constable
Then Scrooge smiled and he felt more uncomfortable
"A merry Christmas, Bob," He smiled and laughed again
He spoke with an earnestness that could not be mistaken
"A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, I fear”
He continued “Than I have given you for many a year.
I'll raise your salary, and assist your struggling family
I am in earnest Bob and I mean to help you honestly
And we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon,
Over a Christmas bowl in the Saracens Head saloon
Make up the fires, and buy another coalscuttle Bob
Before you dot another I, cross another t or any job!"
VERSE 5 – THE END OF IT
He was better than his word. He did it all and more rather
And to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father.
He became as good a friend, and master, and man
As anyone in any city, town, borough or world can
Some people laughed to see the great alteration in him,
But Scrooge let them laugh, and he little heeded them
He had no further intercourse with any sort of Spirit
It was said if any man alive had the knowledge of it
That scrooge knew very well how to keep Christmas
And may that always be truly said of us, and all of us!
Now our story of Ebeneezer Scrooge’s redemption is done
And as Tiny Tim observed, God Bless Us, Every One!