Curse Tablet

Curse Tablet
A public domain image of an ancient Romano-British curse tablet, made of a thin sheet of lead

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I write these words on sheets of lead

And leave them in a dead man’s hands

To bring them to the silent lands

Of root and water, and of rot.

I whisper them into the ear

Of one who can no longer hear.

I show them to the gaping eyes

Of one who lies beneath the leaves.

Oh gods of dread who punish thieves,

Leave off all lesser punishments and hear!

The thieves who rule the world have gorged

On others’ bread and meat. They’ve forged

New manacles to bind the wrists

Of any who resist. They kill

Whoever will not do their will.

Oh gods who dwell beneath the earth,

Arise tonight and hunt for prey

More worthy of your power. Slay

The kings of thieves, the lords of men,

And not the poor who steal their bread.

I write this curse on sheets of lead

And leave them in a dead man’s hands.

I whisper them into the ear

Of those who sleep, but always hear.

I show them to the empty eyes

Of those who lie beneath the leaves,

Oh gods of dread who punish thieves!

– Christopher Scott Thompson