Glory Prologue This is a rollicking "thingie", inspired by Kipling, grown long as it unstoppably extruded. So this takes a few minutes, but maybe you can drink a cuppa; it is about one mug long.
Glory A trumpet tore the morning mist, "To Arms!" the sergeants cried. And war drums thundered out their call, the enemy was nigh.
Glory I trembled in excitement, yes, I trembled some in fear. It was my first engagement; much blood would soon flow here.
Glory Around the muddy meadow where my countrymen encamped, we hurried to assembly; Frightened, heightened, trembling, damp.
Glory Ten dozen men made ready, as we formed our company, like a half a hundred others in our heavy infantry.
Glory The drums beat for the cavalry, Pipes called us pikemen forth. A sea of splendid soldiery, of man and steel and horse.
Glory We steadied arms and nerves alike, we dressed out ragged lines, Some laughed, or cried or prayed to God; It was our battle time.
Glory The scene that played before us, was a slope, where Mars would rage through cries that we, the chorus, yelled in ranks across his stage.
Glory The man who stood beside me, had a grim but solid way. He looked to be a veteran who'd seen some like this day.
Glory Steel-grey the hair beneath his helm, and steely-blue his eyes, he stood with aged demeanor, so I asked him. "Sir", said I..
Glory "Pray tell me, for you must know, that war's a young man's task. Why do you march? Why do you fight? Are your days not now past?"
Glory Another time passed by his face; ten thousand days, gone by. From deep in thought, from a far-off place, he made me this reply:
Glory "Young man", he said, "when I was just a green and easy lad, I met a once-great warrior, My Captain, now long dead."
Glory "In those days I was hale and fresh, and yonder hill, full round, was one that I grew up upon, a-herding on this ground."
Glory "I fell into his company, I joined his roving band, we twelve would seek our destiny, afield in troubled lands."
Glory "I bade farewell to Ma, and Sister I did kiss, and Da’ last called a fond goodbye, this dagger here was his."
Glory "Tis just for lark", I’d told them, "a young man has his day, so keep the hearth and think of me, I’ll be soon be back our way"
Glory "But I never saw them live again, despite my solemn plan, to rove and be -- for just one year -- a warrior journeyman."
Glory Oh, I would be a soldier lad that few here rise above. But glory had a toll, so sad; it's price was all I loved.
Glory "We travelled o'er green water, and crossed a desert sand, and entered into service in a far off troubled land."
Glory "There was a Siege at Acra Keep; we held them all at bay. Five hundred royal warriors, three thousand foe did slay."
Glory "There was a March to Aquadir, The enemy was vast. There was retreat, and there was fear, there was a Bloody Pass."
Glory "Now, fortune smiled upon us when, we rolled them back at Kesh. We took their camp, we took their lives, we took Prince Malagesh."
Glory "That was my first campaign, young man, we more than did our share. T'was me who took the standard from that very Prince's lair!"
Glory "The King was richly pleased with us, for peace came to his hold. He gave us each a laden purse, before he let us go."
Glory "And with my taste of victory, some time had come and gone. If glory has a majesty, then I did wear a crown."
Glory "Our spirits felt like giant men, and soon our journey spanned, through other hard encounters, in the far-off troubled lands."
Glory "But, fortune is a mistress, lad, for pretty as she seems, you'll certain have to pay a price, for all her lovely dreams."
Glory So, I would be a soldier lad that few here rise above. But glory had a toll, so sad; its price was all I loved.
Glory "The Captain died at Port di Mord, and Nick, he took the lead, But Nick was ta'en and tortured, though our Nick would never speak."
Glory "Lee Darlan, he was swift at war, and that became our style, until the fever broke his soul. Poor Lee, it took a while."
Glory "And Evan drove us harshly, every moment of the day. But Evan brought us victory, so, we loved him for his way."
Glory "Oh there were nights so starry! Oh, there were pleasant days! When Evan let us dally some, between his damn’d campaigns."
Glory "I loved a lass named Megaren. She lived with me a while. I sent her south to safety when, the time came for our child."
Glory "But Meg was taken on the road, to please a bandit lord. We stormed the bastard's bastion, lost Evan and four more."
Glory "There, wounded, I was captured, and chained upon the floor, for years that were unspeakable.” ... The grey-beard said no more.
Glory Yet, I would be a soldier lad that few here rise above. But glory had a toll, so sad; its price was all I loved.
Glory The mists had risen skyward from the hillside up ahead, And from our ranks, there rose a sound, that I know now as dread.
Glory Our foemen showed in rank on rank, a'glistening in the sun; a wall of noble armour flashed. I felt my moment come.
Glory They gazed down at us balefully, a wall of gleaming knights. They taunted our assembly, from high on chosen heights.
Glory The grey-beard looked out distantly, as we reached marching stride. I spoke to him my destiny within the battle line.
Glory How I would fight as hard today as any mortal man. How I would best my fears today; No fear, that was my plan.
Glory But then there was a parley, 'ere the final dice was rolled. Lord Rubert went out forward, and The Baron left his fold.
Glory So then began a waiting time, heart beating fast and wild. But I posed there and held the line, the grey-beard at my side.
Glory We footmen advanced steadily along a long-backed rise. Our numbers swelled as cavalry, on each flank now arrived.
Glory "Fear not", the old man told me, "boy, I'll see you through this day, though many men among us may be falling on the way."
Glory I asked him,"Sir, where do they go?" He smiled as he replied, "There is a place beyond all time where warriors live, when died."
Glory "Our Captain's there and Evan too, with all those men I've known, and there be my fair Megaren, and there I'll find my home."
Glory "Today begins a journey, for my death shall set me free. There needs be only glory, to complete our destiny."
Glory For, I was once a soldier lad, That few here rise above. But glory had a toll, so dear; its price was all I loved. /TKT