Monday, November 06, 2006

The Black Prince


Three score years behind, perhaps
a dozen more ahead
The balance of my life now falls
Amongst my friends: the dead

The men I’ve sent to march to war
However just the cause
Stained the earth as they now stain hell
In Cerberus’ bloody jaws

To me was left a vast empire
The peak of mortal wealth
The promise of my father’s crown
Of long life and of health

Squandered that which was bestowed
On vain and feckless aims?
My empire shrinks before me now
And blackened is my name.

My folk despised throughout the world
My foes too bold and strong
My enemies win victory
Though ever false and wrong

Like a million rats descending
On storehouse and on field
The enemy, though base and weak
In numbers, will not yield

And now my friends all step aside
My people turn away
They feel betrayed; I sought too much
Their debt, my loss defrays

At last my end appears too soon
But leaves me with one claim
That all the evil that I’ve done
I did in God’s good name

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