Just Score: A Prefight Poem

The Skaven – Eager Killin PO

Once upon a prefight dreary, before I pound the weak and weary,
Over many a taint and furious volume of forgotten gore
While I plodded, nearly snapping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some gobbo gently rapping, rapping at my locker door.
“’Kill some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my locker door
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying member wrought its blood upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the more thou; vainly I had sought to borrow
From more blood decease of borrow sorrow for no score
For the rare and radiant hating whom the fans shame no score
shameless here for they swore.

And the silken, sad, squirt in muscling of each crimson dirt it
Thrilled me filled me with fangtastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Kill some gobbo entreating entrance at my locker door
Some late gobbo entreating entrance at my locker door;
This it is and kill one more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Gobbo, truly your unfinished business I implore;
But the fact is I was snapping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my locker door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you” here I opened wide the door;
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, “no score?”
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, “no score!”
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
“Surely,” said I, “surely that is something rattus at my locker door;
Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;
’Tis the wind and nothing more!”

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately Skaven of the saintly days of yore;
Not the least obscenely made he; not a minute stomped or slayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched aside my locker door
Proped upon a bust of Jim J just aside my locker door
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony rat beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Skaven wandering about with mutant horn?
Tell me what thy lordly name is on this night before the gore!”
Quoth the Skaven “Never Score.”

Much I marvelled this ungainly scowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning—little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing rat aside my locker door
Rat or beast upon the sculptured bust above his locker door,
With such name as “Never Score.”

But the Skaven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That two words, as if his soul in that two word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a cheddar then he guttered
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have killed before
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Never Score.”

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
“Dauntless,” said I, “what it utters is its only troll and bore
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore
Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore
Of ‘Never— Never Score.”

But the Skaven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of rat, and locker door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to thinking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous mouse of yore
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous mouse of yore
Meant in croaking “Never Score.”

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the mouse whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom’s core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion’s velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o’er,
But whose velvet-violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o’er,
He shall press, ah, cannot score!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Flung by Nuffle whose GFI-falls tinkled on the astro floor.
“Witch,” I cried, “thy God hath lent thee—by these ones he hath sent thee
Respite—respite and APO from thy memories of no score;
Quaff, oh quaff this kind APO and forget this lost no score!”
Quoth the Skaven “Never Score.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if rat or devil!
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted
On this home by Horror haunted—tell me truly, I implore
Is there is there balm in good dead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Quoth the Skaven “Never Score.”

“Prophet!” said I, “thing of evil!—prophet still, if rat or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us—by that God we both adore
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant haten,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom Nuffle name no score
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom Nuffle name no score.”
Quoth the Skaven “Never Score.”

“Be that word our sign of parting, rat or fiend!” I shrieked, upstarting—
“Get thee back into the tempest and the night before the gore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken!—quit the bust aside my locker door!
Take thy squeak from out my heart, and take thy form from my locker door!”
Quoth the Skaven “Never Score.”

And the Skaven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Jim J just aside my locker door
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o’er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies bleeding on the floor
Shall be lifted—nevermore!