The Duke’s Dirge

Shorn the sheep to graze in fields, peridot,
The jeweled sun’s breath upon the burnished cheek;
Kin we were in kith we ran the ramparts
Of our boyish troop, upon the dragon’s gorge.

It reared upon us one silent hour
O’ that brother of the Jeweled Seraphim,
Son of Satan and Scylla, most unwise.

He is a man like any other, plush
With his mischief upon the earth, rosy
Are his cheeks; richer he is than the king.

The Seraphim will bind his sire in
Juddecca’s chains, cast him down to hell. Yet.
That foe Death, only one will vanquish:—Christ.

The winds of the eastern vault bring pleasant
Breeze, to where we once in boyhood’s gay charms
Played with sticks, and serious was our charge
To guard the gates of those ruddy warriors.

The armies salvos over the hills, arms
March out to war, in our memory’s past;
Those games we played as youth, with prop instead
Of cold metal in the scabbard’s tang.

Never was Satan’s sire, that Scylla’s
Bastard, a thought upon our mind, when war
Burgeoned in the hill valleys of our play.
Yet, the silent winds cooled our childhood’s

Games. And the sweet smell of the heather blooms
Rose through the air with the mowed grass; sticks crossed
Their tackles, but not the iron of war.

Brother, I pray you find rest in the green
Lights of Paradise’s grove; so rest sound.

For our swords would cross in amateur play
Yet, now the Bastard has crept through your door.

Raise; raise you Duke
At the last Trumpet’s sound
Into paradise.

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