Let no man speak of wars whence
No answer graced our call,
Let man remember gods thence
Gods, watchful of our fall;
Speak in silenced sighs, men,
Dead men hither sleep,
No flag here flails, amen, amen!
Who can ever beweep
Our brethren in the deep.
Frightened colours breached the sky,
The church bells played a dirge;
The bustling hills and vales so nigh
In crimson rage did merge,
Archers with crescents held high
Keen arrows fell like sin,
The portcullis in sorrow, shy
Interred our fathers in
The last grave of our kin.
Wailed the night in thunder blare;
The mangonels did come,
Lonely trumpets singed the air
When Earth ravished our home;
The eastern tower, wasting wear
For a trebuchet did bow,
Fallen stone and ballista bare
Broke its stony vow,
As the beadle mopped his brow.
Mildly armoured, men at arms
Stormed the brazen fray,
Howled the castle’s cold alarms:
Ladder men up the brae!
Blazed in ire the fields and farms:
The winter’s yield was spent;
The cleric’s boon, the pastor’s charms
Burned with scorn’s base scent
To our false gods it went.
Rampart raised, our lofty lord
Rallied each lost knight’s lust,
Fain, one jilt his people’s sword
And relent a grain of dust;
Gentle came the primal horde
On voices that had known,
Not one had either hoped or heard
That we were not alone.
Our battle was our own.
Braced the city’s mounted pride,
Known to all, all but friends;
Irate war mares, wild to ride
Hoofed the earth in hateful tens;
Rumbling drums hummed angst afar,
Crumbling corbels, flaming tar;
Lifetime’s art, the scope of breath
Whet this final craft of death
’Neath the slumber of an absent star.
Dyed our paladins with rose
The castle gates with red repose,
Pikemen, then did chance a charge
Their lines remained unmoved at large,
Dancing banners paid their due
To one final, futile hue,
The battering ram, its hammer damned
The aging keep, in fervour slammed.
Yet, the gatehouse still held true.
Then like the shade’s impending hearse
Log and plank, in morbid love,
Did draft in rubble a flotsam verse
Entered the philistines above,
And artless as they were too terse:
The searing cries outdid first light;
Our wounded folk no monks to nurse,
Our mangled dead no priests to rite,
Ever children of the night.
Who sought Epithilinon’s brave
Beneath each wizened, windswept grave?
Who paid tribute to her grandeur
Once her ruins mastered inure?
Yet, in a song, though in her fall
Epithil’non was built again.
Her halls and towers still stand tall,
The fallen blade revives the pen.
Thus, begins another reign.