In the Service of the King (II)

In the service of the king, in the service of the king

He has done a thousand biddings in the service of the king

He did break a thousand horses, he has killed their thousand riders

He’s confused a thousand tongues, he’s refused a thousand offers

From the maidens and the maidservants and princes and their priests

Climbed a thousand flaxen locks to kill or capture dulcet damsels

Playing on their dulcimer and wailing beauty like the night

Walked a thousand paths, and has crossed a thousand oceans

Up and down high roads and low roads, worn paths and the traveled-by

He has ravished brides of quietness, looked on works and despaired

Rid the world of priests meddlesome when the skull-faced witch-men came

He has nursed a devil sick of sin and sped the cart they flung him in

Has volleyed and has thundered and has made of tares a grain

He has blown the muted post-horn, he has hanged the night in scarlet

He has danced between the light fantastic all with DEATH his mate

He’s a better man than I am, he is evil, he is man

He’s a thousand sorts of savage with a will within his hand

And with breath still in his body, O the echoes he shall ring

When he strikes his master’s thunder in the service of the king

In the service of the king, in the service of the king

He’s reforged a thousand broken swords in service of the king

Fulfilled a thousand prophecies, cast up a thousand bones

A thousand Sibyls killed and then a thousand more enthroned

A thousand battles fought and won, a thousand battles thrown

A thousand raids, a thousand rapes

A thousand shapes made mangled shapes

Or dust and overblown

A thousand wells he’s poisoned, and a thousand walls collapsed

And a thousand streams made sweet again, a thousand things relapsed

A thousand quick reversals and a thousand things rebuilt

A thousand things he’s gathered and a thousand caused to wilt

And a thousand tales are left unsung while a thousand they do sing

This evidence no recompense

For if they sing with reverence

Or with hate and condemning

It was his master’s wish his trail

Would be so kept from fading stale

And so he left enough behind to lays and epics bring

For he cares not but for the praise

Of those souls who could end his days

But to that who could make a claim

And to their lives then cling?

He is the man from whom he gains

His purpose – for his life remains

In the service of the king

In the service of the king, in the service of the king

He shall live and he shall one day die in service of the king

And when he is laid to rest

He will know he has been blessed

For he has made of life a test

A game, a challenge, which he did best

In the service of the king

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~ by davekov on 16 August 2009.

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