Copyright ©2012 Eva Van Daele-Hunt
All Rights Reserved - Used by Permission
So you've traipsed round the sights of our city,
Bridge of Vows, the Ostensible Zoo,
and, equipped with a light, seen the Well of the Night,
maybe hauled up a bucket or two.
But there are some wonders less vaunted,
like House Half or the Reverie Mill,
there's a cloister close by where old songs go to die
and just past it - there's Watchmaker Hill.
Oh, ain't it a sight in the morning,
with the steam rising out of each store?
Everywhere you taste time on the air,
and those sounds when you open a door!
There's a whirring and purring and clicking,
there's a jingling and sometimes a scream,
and the watches themselves that reside on the shelves
seem straight from some spring-powered dream.
Some are driven by sand, coal or cider,
some are potted or baked or crocheted,
Some I knew only ran on a Wednesday or when
under water, or if they were paid.
Like the one made for Lady MacKenzie,
that skipped time with a nudge of the hands -
she skipped seldom at first, just omitting the worst,
like keen pain or the passing of friends.
But she soon went from "grievous" to "irksome",
skipping every discomfort or flaw,
a nosebleed or splinter, the tax, a cold winter
or tea with her mother-in-law.
Her life dashed by ever more quickly,
missing many a year at this stage.
She skipped her last breath but she could not skip death -
the youngest to go at her age.
Then those tiny, bright clocks that ran backwards
for a while were considered trés chic,
for at times you'd recall whom you'd fancy come fall
or the book you had read the next week.
Smitty siphoned the sound of the ticking
to the gaps in between with some skill.
The result proved quite scaring - a silence so blaring
it woke half of Watchmaker Hill.
Do you remember Will Fairbanks?
By an intricate temporal sieve
his clock could replay any minute or day
that its owner might wish to relive.
Well, Will aged twenty years in a fortnight,
as he dwelled on old courtships and thrills - - -
they recall his wide smile though it's been quite a while
since they've seen him on Watchmaker Hill.
Then there was the day when Mad Matthews,
to stop time, built the Great Master Clock.
And it worked! In this clime on the stroke of the chime. . .
. . .
. . .
Well, it worked not as such for the strain was too much,
the pendulum rumbled, the gaskets all crumbled
and off went the clock in a frenzied tick-tock,
the workshop was shredded, Mad Matthews beheaded,
from where the clock towered the whole hill was showered
in a deluge of cogwheels and time. . .
(That was one loooong afternoon.)
Matthews' heirs pay indemnities still.
Such is life here on Watchmaker Hill.
Ladies and gents, come to Watchmaker Hill!
Visit the wonders of Watchmaker Hill!
Watchmaker Watchmaker Watchmaker Watchmaker Watchmaker. . . (Chime)