ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Poem: The Tale of Tristram Gnome

Updated on October 2, 2016
AdeleCosgroveBray profile image

Adele Cosgrove-Bray is a writer, poet and artist who lives on the Wirral Peninsula in England.

The Tale of Tristram Gnome

Tristram Gnome stood up to leave the beer-stained bar,

Leaving the last drops of buttercup beer lying in his jar.

He staggered from the Lark’s Nest, quite ready to go home;

It was a very merry evening for this tiny, tipsy gnome.

Tristram swayed through grassy lawns and over dewy moss

Tripping over stalks and stems, bumping into flower pots.

Quite tiddly with that golden juice, he threw his arms wide,

Then with a loud, voracious voice began singing to the sky.

Tristram halted in his tracks, amazed by what he’d seen,

For all alone was a lady gnome standing in a bright moon beam!

He smiled and introduced himself, but she was far too shy to speak,

So he sat by her side and sang of the tide of love within his heart.

And he told her of his pretty home in a cave below a rose bush;

Told of his work for The Gnome’s Gazette, of promotion with some luck.

Tristram hadn’t the least doubt that his heart’s promptings were right;

What could this be but affinity, and gnome-love at first sight.

But the buttercup beer took its toll as Tristram sat by her feet,

And very soon the young gnome yawned and fell soundly asleep.

Yet his dreams were filled with the lady gnome, to him, a magical sight,

And Tristram slept through many hours, snoring gently through the night.

Morning came and Tristram woke in a warm and sunny haze,

Dreaming yet of future years and shared, perfect days.

He stretched and turned around to speak to his dear lady gnome,

And his blood ran cold in horror as he realised she was made of stone.

Great silver tears rolled down his face; he cried till his eyes ran dry.

He wailed and sobbed and wrung his hands, desperately asking Why?;

Trembled, shook as grief wracked his limbs – then on the clock’s twelfth stroke,

He gazed upon the lady gnome, and died as his tiny heart broke.

Play the audio version of the Tale of Tristram Gnome.

The sound recording above was broadcast in September 2005 as part of Cath Bore's show for 7 Waves Radio, a Wirral radio station going out on 92.1 FM.

Along with other members of Riverside Writers, I regularly guested on Cath's show, usually to read short stories which were broadcast live on air. The Tale of Tristram Gnome was well received and generated many emails and texts from listeners.

It was fellow Riverside Writers' member Tim Hulme who asked the radio station for a digital copy of the show, and with the station's permission he edited out everything other than our contributions and put these onto CD for participating members. So it's thanks to him that any recordings of our broadcasts are still available.


As a cryonicist, I couldn't resist inserting a quip about Tristram Gnome's lack for foresight regarding cryo-preservation. See if you can spot the tongue-in-cheek graphic about cryonics and cryo-preservation in the video sequence.

Novels by the Author of The Tale of Tristram Gnome!

To the public they are artists creating beauty in their shared Liverpool home.  In private, they are members of an ancient occult order riddled with intrigue and power struggles.  Can Morgan keep them safe in their turbulent world of dark magic?
To the public they are artists creating beauty in their shared Liverpool home. In private, they are members of an ancient occult order riddled with intrigue and power struggles. Can Morgan keep them safe in their turbulent world of dark magic? | Source

How the Tale of Tristram Gnome Came to be Written

The Tale of Tristram Gnome is one of my oldest surviving poems, and dates back to May 1983. I was a college student at the time, and also a member of Leigh Writers' Workshop which used to meet once each month in a tiny room above the Lamp bookshop in the small town of Leigh, in Lancashire, England.

This poem came about as a result of me being given the task of re-painting my mother's collection of garden gnomes. Dad always had a pile of almost-empty rusty paint tins, along with a collection of grotty brushes crammed into jam jars filled with soupy turpentine. The brushes had been left in the turps so long that most of the bristles fell off the instant I tried to rinse the gloop away in order to use them.

It was while working with this motley collection of supplies, painting cheery faces onto otherwise concrete-grey garden ornaments, that I began wondering what a real elemental might make of these gnomes. And so the idea for The Tale of Tristram Gnome began to take shape.

Publishing Credits for The Tale of Tristram Gnome

Ebook featuring The Tale of Tristram Gnome plus many other poems by the same author.

  1. A Wigwam to Wind the Sun Up; Lone Rider Publications; June 1994.
  2. Rhyme Time #2; ed. Allison Magee; June 1996.
  3. Hallow-Zine; ed. Neil Rhind; October 1996.
  4.; March 2005.
  5. (broadcast) 7 Waves Radio; Cath Bore's show; September 2005.
  6. Threads; Middle Eye Press; January 2012.

Share Your Opinion!

5 out of 5 stars from 1 rating of The Tale of Tristram Gnome

© 2016 Adele Cosgrove-Bray


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)