Saturday, December 09, 2006

Fiction: Ballad of the Forgotten Sentry

'Fore wooden bridge, on stony ridge
An old knight takes his stand
Commanded there by sire's glare
And duty's fateful hand.

With sword of rust, forsaken trust
Forgotten there by most
Yet there he guards, past deadly wards,
A kingdom's stately ghost.

His shoulders bent, their vigor spent
The weight of all the years
Falls on his cowl. Mere blackened scowl
Remains of mortal fears.

No strength remains. The knight retains
The challenge he has wrought,
Past slivered age the destined wage
Of wars that once were fought.

His gauntlet-hand blasted by sand
Still lies on ancient hilt,
Unmarred by death nor precious breath
A lost land's unknown guilt.

What winds bewail, the heart did fail
The valiance of the sigh.
Raised up in trust, the spirit must
Fall down from up on high.

Yet duty's cost before the lost
Demands a bitter tithe.
An honored vow both here and now
Persists past winter's scythe.

The ghosts of all that ancient call
Now slumber in the next
Save lonely knight, forgotten might
Of sins held long and vexed.

'Fore wooden bridge, on stony ridge
By borders close to land
He yet stands there by sunlit stare
And duty's fateful hand.

Though man forgets, the vow still sets
The precepts of his quest.
Of honor borne, the spirit sworn
Yet keeps him from his rest.

4 comments:

Dominique said...

Great poem, Sean. Captures the mood perfectly.

Sean said...

Dominique: I claim that it's not a poem, only a piece of fiction in poetic format. And I only did it to get the stupid rhyme and meter out of my head. :(

Dominique said...

For the moment disregarding everything I learned in the workshop (Dr. Tiempo forgive me!): if it rhymes, it's a poem.

Then again, there's enough lush imagery here that we could fruitfully dissect it and come up with something meaningful.

Alas, Sean, you have let this work loose on the world. There's no longer just the sovereignty of you, the author; there's also the sovereignty of the writer and the reader.

Sean said...

Dominique: If you say so, I suppose. I'm just going to head back to fiction now...