This is an epic write in 4 parts with a finale as it is the whole story of a Christmas Carol in rhyme, make a cup of cocoa first and sit back and enjoy the journey as I take you back in time to Victorian Britain . . .
He is quite dead! Dead as a door nail. . .
His grasping partner begins our tale.
Scrooge and Marley were partners together,
Misery and miserable in their endeavour.
When Marley died, Scrooge had no remorse
He continued on his steady course
A selfish man living alone
He needed no one, his heart was stone
Scrooge was a man with a stiffened gait,
A solitary man who was filled with hate.
Shrivelled cheeks and pointed nose,
A demeanour hard and cold he posed.
It was seven years hence and Christmas was coming,
The snowy white streets were buzzing and humming.
A coach and six came galloping through,
Kids on sleighs and carol singers too.
His counting house was dark and freezing,
The clerk was shivering, cowering and wheezing.
Mr Scrooge had no good will invested,
This covetous Miser was greatly detested.
At Christmas his nephew would invite him in,
But Scrooge was frosty, dismissive and grim.
"Humbug", he'd say, "why celebrate this day!"
"My clerk is off work. . . and I have to pay!"
The charity boxes were left without penny,
He suggested work houses or prison for many,
His puny string purse remained tightly shut,
He hated to give, his heart full of soot.
One freezing night he came to his door,
His door knob a face, not seen before,
Taken aback, but resolved to be grim,
He dismissed the vision and rubbed his chin.
He sat in his night gown with pan full of gruel,
His chamber was dim, as the candle was poor.
He heard clanging chains as he locked himself in,
Bells ringing out and making a din.
Shocked by the noise getting louder he feared,
He suddenly shrieked as a figure appeared,
The ghost of Marley, his dead partner was here,
Dragging padlocks, ledgers and chains at the rear.
The apparition said three spirits would come,
The first was due when the bell tolls one.
The second would come the very next night,
And the third and last at twelve midnight.
Scrooge went to bed thinking all was a dream,
Not believing any nonsense he'd seen,
But true to the ghost's haunting prediction,
Scrooge would be granted no remission.
The curtains parted to the Miser's bed,
He was face to face with something dead.
A child-like figure white and spiritual,
Floating on air like an angelic miracle.
I am the Ghost of Christmas past,
Rise and walk along this path.
Terrified Scrooge obeyed the spirit,
The clock turned back, and he went with it.
School days, Scrooge was a solitary boy,
Dejected, alone and rather coy,
Fervent memories came flooding to him,
Of another life that might have been.
The fun at festive Fezziwig's ball,
'Merry Christmas' he said, to one and all!
The laughter and gaiety of the season,
The poor always joyous without reason.
A broken engagement to his loved one,
With the worldly wealth and fortune he'd won,
Scrooge could barely look upon,
His former happy self was gone.
"Why do you delight in torturing me?
Haunt me no longer, let me be!
Remove me from this awful place,
I cannot bear anymore disgrace".
The spirit retorted, "these are facts!
Of your past Scrooge! The truest facts!
Do not blame me for your own folly".
He raised his hand with a sprig of holly.
Scrooge became suddenly exhausted,
The spirit in white no longer retorted.
Back in his bed drowsy and sleepy,
He sank into sleep, heavily and deeply.
The next night as the bell struck one,
He nervously awaited the ghost to come.
As he furtively paced around the room,
His hand on the lock as the visit was soon.
At that very moment, spirit number two
Bade him enter, and Scrooge walked through.
As he entered to his great surprise,
His room was transformed. . . not recognised.
Glistening red berries and holly and ivy,
A blazing fire was roaring and lively.
Heaped on the floor were turkeys and Geese,
Poultry, brawn and great joints of meat.
Plum puddings, mince pies and twelfth cakes,
Chestnuts, apples and pears which were baked.
Barrels of oysters and bowls of hot punch,
The jolly giant said, "come Scrooge . . . have lunch".
"I am the ghost of Christmas Present, Sir",
He wore a green robe edged in white fur.
The spirits eyes were kind and clear,
But Scrooge was filled with the greatest fear.
His congenial face and sparkling eye,
Was gentle, warm, cheery and rye.
The spirit asked Scrooge to touch his robe,
And the journey continued outside his abode.
Christmas morn, beginning the story. . .
The poulterer and fruiterer in radiant glory,
Fresh plumbs, cinnamon and candid sweets,
Spices and figs and white almonds treats.
Everyone dressed in their waistcoats for best,
Merry and gay, good humoured I guess,
Today is the happiest anyone could be,
It's Christmas and you're invited for tea.
They came to the door of a house wherein,
Bob Cratchit, his clerk, resided in,
Sprinkling his torch, the Spirit blessed all,
Children were waiting for their Father to call. . .
Bob Cratchit pulled Tiny Tim to his cheek,
His crippled son was frail and weak.
He said, "At Christmas God remembers thee,
To make lame beggars walk and blind men see".
The goose and potatoes were ready to eat,
Apple sauce and sage and onion treat.
The pudding was small and not nearly enough,
Life for the Cratchits was humble and tough.
Scrooge asked, "Will Tiny Tim live? . . . bless him",
The spirit said, "a vacant seat there within,
A crutch without its owner, carefully preserved,
Why do you care, that's what they deserve?
The spirit said, "Surely he must die and decrease
The surplus population, and become deceased!"
Scrooge hung his head in penitence and grief,
He then heard Cratchit speak his name in brief.
"To the founder of the feast", Cratchit said,
"To Mr Scrooge. . . Thanks to him we're fed",
Mrs Cratchit objected to the toast,
"Be charitable my dear, he paid for the roast".
Talk of Scrooge cast a shadow on the table,
The mood only lifted when Tim was able
To toast Mr Scrooge and drink to his health,
He didn't care tuppence about his wealth.
The journey took them to another home,
Where Nephew Freddy was not alone,
Contagious laughter and merriment,
Rang out through the modest tenement.
His niece was pretty with a capital face,
Ripe little mouth and full of grace.
Dimpled cheeks and sunny eyes,
Could melt the heart of all those guys.
Scrooge was the subject of conversation,
Relatives laughing at his poor situation.
Supporting him, Uncle Freddy was kind,
Sympathy for his poor state of mind.
Scrooge heard Freddy suggest he might
Give his poor Clerk fifty pounds this night,
A raw of laughter rang with ferocity,
Scrooge was incapable of such generosity.
Scrooge softened more and more in peace,
As the Harp played sweetly by his Niece.
Mourning the good times now lost,
His course was doomed at great cost. . .
The spirit was ageing and turning grey,
His life was ending this very day,
His robe had something moving inside,
Two poor children barely alive.
This boy is ignorance, this girl is want,
They are doomed to a life of taunt.
"Are there no resources for these poor wretches?"
"Yes", said the Spirit, "workhouses and ditches!"
The bell struck twelve making a din,
A hooded phantom moved towards him. . .
Remembering well Marley's prediction,
Christmas future was this ghost's infliction.
Dressed in black no face to see,
The silent spirit was still as he. . .
Outstretched one hand to point on,
Scrooge trembled, as the worst was to come.
Hearing voices of business men,
"Last night he died at about ten,
I thought he'd never die", they were laughing,
"Will anyone mourn, this man's passing?"
The room was dark and cold and grim,
A Woman picked over the rags therein,
"Not much to salvage from this old Miser",
The dead man lay on the bed beside her.
The spirit bade Scrooge, "remove the veil",
But great fear struck him and he turned pale.
Scrooge said, "Was there no emotion at this loss of life,
A loving son? Or this man's wife?".
The only emotion the spirit revealed,
Was the pleasure the cleaning woman could feel,
At knowing the loan she owed was none,
The man was dead and the debt now gone.
The spirit pointed to Bob Cratchit's home,
Be-felled in silence as never known.
Children comforting Father grieving,
Tiny Tim dead and all were bereaving.
Scrooge was devastated by the news,
His head in his hands paying his dues.
If only he'd treated his clerk fairly,
He'd given him days-off, very rarely.
Scrooge saw the error of his way,
His cruelty and misery inflicted each day.
The suffering which could be relieved,
If only compassion had been received.
"Tell me spirit who was that dead man?",
"Who lay without care from anyone",
To wrought iron gates the spirit pointed,
A churchyard where Scrooge was anointed.
It was dark and spooky, cold and foggy,
Scrooge trod on ground soggy and boggy.
The spirit pointed to a neglected headstone,
Scrooge crept toward it, cold and alone.
Reading the name, 'Ebenezer Scrooge'
He fell to his knees and cried with this news.
Am I the man who lay dead on the bed,
He pointed again, to the grave instead.
"Oh No, No, No", "I am a changed man,
Why show me all this? 'Cos, change I can".
The hand of the spirit trembled in strife,
"Good spirit, please. . . I can alter my life".
Scrooge held up his hands in prayer,
But the phantom collapsed, was no longer there.
He found himself hugging his own bedpost,
He was back in his bed and there was no ghost.
Excitedly Scrooge repeated his plea,
That, 'all three spirits live within me'
Christmas's past, present and future,
All of these spirits would now feature.
He ran around the room like a man crazed,
Laughing and crying 'cos he was amazed.
"I am happy as an angel, light as a feather,
Giddy as a drunken man in rainy weather"!
Merry Christmas to you all I declare,
Happy New Year to the world out there.
He danced and skipped and lunged about,
"I'm a new born baby, have no doubt. . ."
He shouted. . . "What day would this be?"
''It's Christmas Day'" a boy yelled with glee.
Scrooge was happy he hadn't missed it,
He knelt to the floor, and then he kissed it.
He said to the boy, "buy the turkey
Hanging in the poulterers looking perky,
Go buy it and I'll give you a shilling".
Off ran the boy, he was very willing.
"Deliver it straight to Bob Cratchit's place".
He was so excited, he couldn't keep pace.
The turkey was twice the size of Tim,
The Family would never know it was from him.
He met the gentleman who had asked for charity,
"Do me a favour?" The man asked for clarity?
Scrooge offered a tidy sum for the poor,
Including back payments which he had incurred.
His nephew's house was his next call,
"Bless my soul, it's Uncle Scrooge in the hall?"
"Is your invitation still open Nephew?
Can I come to dinner, I know I'm not due"
"Of course Uncle Scrooge, come hither,
I'm glad you decided to join us for dinner".
A wonderful party was had by all,
Scrooge was glad that he came to call.
The following morning he had a work date,
Cratchit came in eighteen minutes late.
He was hoping this would happen today,
As this time it was Scrooge who would pay.
"What do you mean coming at this time of day?"
Scrooge growled in his old accustomed way,
"I am sorry Sir, It's only once a year",
"Precisely", said Scrooge, "So I'll make myself clear".
"I am raising the salary for your job,
Merry Christmas to you, my good fellow Bob".
Over a bowl of smoking bishop* they chat,
"Make up the fire, and remove your hat".
Scrooge was true to his word in the end,
He became a good man, employer and friend,
He was a second father to Tiny Tim,
In turn the entire family loved him.
No further intercourse with the ghosts,
Keeping Christmas alive he could boast.
All trace of the tyrannical miser had gone,
Tiny Tim said, '"Gaud bless us everyone".