POETRY READING: “Sword of War”, from “Of Virtue, Love and War”, by Ryan Christiansen

Performed by Val Cole

“Sword of War”, from “Of Virtue, Love and War”, by Ryan Christiansen

Would I were a soldier still – would I were yet still a knight
A servant of the beautiful – honor bound to all that’s right

I’d marsh’ll out to meet the foe – for her return to fight
Would I were love’s soldier still – would I were yet still her knight

But there is not now such need or cause – no need to make such war
For you are gone or never were – and will dwell here never more

I dreamt I stood atop a hill – on the edge of a black’nd vale
Beneath a sky, bled of its light – hanging somber, gloom and pale

I peered across that vast expanse – to the reach of my own sight
Through the smoth’rd stain of murk and air – to your tower ivory white

But gathered on the valley floor – in that gulf that lay between
The minions of the wicked hoard – stood in numbers never seen

They jeered and taunt’d “come down and die” – for you’ll see her never more
But the sky did crack of thunder then – as I drew my sword of war

I charged my stallion like a bolt – of raging fire, through their ranks
Their blackened blood, like a river, ran – that’d overflowed its banks

A storm of fury, we did fall – on all those who dared stand under
Rising, striking; my sword rained down – a hail of death and thunder

Cleaved and hewn, their bodies fell – to their ranks we did lay waste
Swept aside, like so much chaff – of our vengeance they did taste

Emerging from a sea of blood – we rode up from that vale
And coming to your hill top’s crest – sought you there to no avail

That length of land, I searched for you – to distant heights my eyes did strain
I searched throughout that valley rim – yet my search it was in vain

For the place you dwelt, t’was now gone – fully vanished from all sight
Not a stone or remn’nt there remained – of your tower ivory white

Then gleeful words rose from the vale – and wound their way into my ear
And faintly offered whispered thoughts – that I alone could hear;

“So sweetly crafted was our ruse – and it seems you’ve finally found
T’was a wisp of cloud now blown away – like an echo’s faded sound

A machination, by design – was this thing that you called love
We set it there, for all to see – on that hill top high above

T’was never true, this lure we laid – and pity seems you fin’ly find
T’was nothing but a conjured dream – that lived within your mind”

Down I slid my horse’s back – and there laid softly on the ground
Down I lay my sword of war – and into blackness my heart drowned

My soul bled out there, on the earth – the life inside me f’lly drained
A stone, I lay beneath that sky – of shadow’d murk that now hung stained

And there I linger’d pass of time – the length of which, I do not know
A corpse, I clung there to the ground – in that place I dreamt you so

But then there came, set on the wind – a voice far faint’r, yet more clear
With mercy softened words, it spoke – so familiar in my ear;

“Neither death nor dist’nt draw of time – could, of my love, leave you forlorn
For nothing und’r heaven’s reign – could quell a love eternal born

For though you see me not, I am – for in your heart, I do live yet
There I dwell and always shall – to this now hold, lest you forget

Be not deceived, in this hour dire – and be not turned from who thou art
My love, my knight, my soldier brave – carry forth as you did start

And so he rose up from the ground – and climbed back upon his steed
The wicked’s voices rose as well – but to their lies he payed no heed

And starting down that valley black – a soldier knight again once more
Returning thus unto the fight – he drew his sword of war


Author: poetryfest

Submit your Poetry to the Festival. Three Options: 1) To post. 2) To have performed by an actor 3) To be made into a film.

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