What whisper though the field lily
and lilac hush twixt Spring and Summer
am I to listen to?
And will it hear me too?
I, weary thane of thought: relieved
to lie in brush. I am encumbered.
I toast my mead to you
‘neath sky’s composite hues
There was a band of bastards once
I’ll tell their story now
Whose crimes crept tales across the land
Until time took them by the hand.
The first, the cruelest, thin and sly
who steel could never bite
but death does dabble finer arts
a woman’s venom stopped his heart
The second - sanguine cheek and hate
A fiery red-haired oaf
Proudly kept his wounds unclean
Until devoured by gangrene
The third a soldier, spun from sunsilk
and heart of oaken honor
but Valkyr left his corpse unkissed
felled by arrow in the mist.
The fourth sniffs snot back to his nose
his story is unhappy
Old faces melt in memory
They fade to his senility
The battles by their fathers’ names
The fame of spear and splinter
Of drinking chants of breasts and braggarts
Of midnight plots of cloak and dagger
Lo, they knew not of the deep
They sneered at shifting Time
the town salute - “Wassail!”
dyed blood into their sails
Time, the hunter of us all
The gentle mastermind
by tempest, spear, disease, or flame
They wound up equal, just the same.
And even I, who sputters now
hushed tales to sleeping sparrows
hear the clarion call
of the horn of white Heimdall.
So wander I to lands of yours
With tales of younger years
So when time catches up with me
My tales will skip from lips freely
Remember the short tale I told,
Forget me not when you grow old.