May 17, 2016

The Wisdom of a King

"I tremble in the shadow, lord,
Thick-thrown upon the land and crown,
To so report, as loyal ward;
The kingdom crumbles down!
The kingdom crumbles down,
In ruin black and brown!"


"Indeed, the daemon we oppose
Gluts heartily on kin and beast.
With each corpse eaten, yet it grows;
A foul and evil feast!
A foul and evil feast,
Of which we know the least!"


"My counsel, if you grant it, sire:
Here champions dwell, each fit of frame,
Who answer ernest pleas and dire;
If they to court now came!
If they to court now came,
That fiend their might would tame!"


"Alas, though plain in word, a quest
Would forfeit yet our swiftest scout,
And blood would muffle his behest;
The daemon skulks about!
The daemon skulks about,
Collapsing plans in doubt!"


"Not so! The creature reaves away,
In countries far from heroes' homes;
Your hand must not this idle stay;
It elsewhere distant roams!
It elsewhere distant roams,
To sunder other loams!"


"But, though we could those sword-arms bring,
They battle in distinct their spheres;
They bow apart before their king;
Such stubborn fools' careers!
Such stubborn fools' careers,
To war without their peers!"


"But lord! Our knights, in ordered file,
Have broken 'pon the monster's wrath,
And heap now in a fetid pile;
Stewed in a bloody bath!
Stewed in a bloody bath,
That soaks your castle's path!"


"I say we cannot reach their hearts,
For each shall beat off from the rest,
If yet they pump to living parts;
A rigid, futile test!
A rigid, futile test,
To that grim devil best!"


------


"My king has to his chamber bed
Retired, in blackest, stifling grief,
While yet the daemon flesh is fed;
In sleep waits no relief!
In sleep waits no relief,
But phasing nightmares brief!


His spirit crumbles at the face
Of sharp that terror reaving wild --
I must his absent role replace;
As fleeting monarch styled!
As fleeting monarch styled,
Through messengers beguiled!


"You! Call your errand-riders swift!
Our majesty seeks mighty aid;
Speed to each township with this gift;
Heed this His Highness bade!
Heed this His Highness bade,
To Heroes Five persuade!"


------


"Advisor, you, against my urge,
Have these, my finest subjects brought!
How had you made them here converge?
So be it.. they you sought!
So be it.. they you sought,
For victory or nought!"


"Apologies, my lord, but see:
As you predicted, they refuse
To band in single company;
Among them might you choose!
Among them might you choose,
Rejecting those who lose!"


"Well then, approach, and I shall scale
Your prowess with the creature's own.
He must be skillful, bold and hale;
You all by deeds are known!
You all by deeds are known,
But one must go alone!"


"Hail, King! I am Bodoc the Brave!
Of villains slain I proud may boast,
Of enemies hurled to the grave;
Watch me, of all your host!
Watch me, of all your host,
I strike with rule the most!"


"Hail, King! I am Derrin the Dour!
You may exhibit any feat,
You may the whole of this realm scour;
I am the blade elite!
I am the blade elite,
That will the monster beat!"


"Hail, King! I am Saggath the Stout!
My axe to giants' breasts I heave,
Before me, dragons timid rout;
The horror I shall cleave!
The horror I shall cleave,
By sole esteemed your leave!"


"Hail, King! I am Chalam the Chaste!
No vixen of the hungry Hells
May tempt me with fell fruits to taste;
My bulwark sin repels!
My bulwark sin repels,
Where'er her cunning swells!"


"Hail, King! I am Wilnir the Wise!
Through ancient craft, I manage flame,
And pull the lightning from the skies;
This honor mine I claim!
This honor mine I claim,
For nought of gold or fame!"


"Your virtues high I now have seen,
And recognize your strength in war,
But none of you may intervene;
Away, and speak no more!
Away, and speak no more,
Until you pass my door!"


"My liege, you have discarded all!
Such worthy men to carry weight
Of black this burden leave your hall;
Now must we simply wait!
Now must we simply wait,
For you have set our fate!"


"Blame not my seeming-wicked choice,
As none had come until you pled;
A saviour heeds no royal voice;
No heroes here have tread!
No heroes here have tread,

For he would bear a head!"

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