Within a dark and endless marsh,
A thousand knights were damned to march,
Knee deep in festering mud,
The price for spilling innocent blood.
Once an army, now divided,
Each for his own glory minded,
Broken ranks now strewn apart,
And none can see the original path.
An armour suit each knight must wear,
The same black standard they all bear,
A stifling mask, a weighty shield,
A two-edged sword, painful to wield.
Boots that sink into the slime,
Each step seems a mountain climbed,
Hands in gauntlets, unable to feel,
Sweltering in a breastplate of steel.
The march is slow with no reward,
The only treasure is in their thoughts,
Dreams of things to never be,
Illusions of a victory.
Each knight makes his journey alone,
His blade slashing at those too close,
A spiteful war he lives to wage,
Racked with shame and bound in rage.
Now, in that marsh an old knight fell,
Not from a wound but a broken spell,
His sword slipped lightly from his grasp,
And he was loosed from his old mask.
He heaved himself back up to stand,
And the gauntlets fell right off his hands,
His armour cracked, then split and fell,
He threw his shield aside as well.
He stepped out of those heavy boots,
And felt that he was born anew,
Into the marsh his armour sunk,
And he stood there naked on the mud.
The other knights all saw this sight,
They drew their swords and neared to fight,
The strikes hurt but did not draw blood,
To that old knight they were as blunt.
He walked with ease across the marsh,
And found a shining golden path,
The other knights all cursed and jeered,
To lose their armour was their greatest fear.
As that old man walked freely past,
One snared, tormented knight did ask,
“How dare you leave a fate that’s written?”
The old man smiled, “I’ve been forgiven.”
© 2018 MILES VENISON ALL RIGHTS RESERVED