The Ballad of Evermore

Agincourt by Donato Giancola

The Ballad of Evermore

The Thousand-Years War did not come to an end,
So they say – it just came to a stop.
When the gold and the men and the food has all gone,
Then the number of battles must drop.

The sheep were untended, the cattle were stray,
While the geese were so full they must walk,
For there’s none could survive, save the crickets and mice,
When the harvest remained on the stalk.

So famine and fasting would follow the fighting,
As fighters would follow their swords –
And even the nobles ate turnips and gruel,
While the ravens were dining like lords.

For year after year, as the sun dried the ground,
So the raiding would start with the Spring,
Till the storms and the Autumn at last gave a rest,
Till the battles that next year would bring.

When home for the Winter, the men would greet newborns,
And plant in their wives their next growth –
But all of the fighting brought all of the dying,
And birthing was slower than both.

So fathers and brothers, on hearing the muster,
Rode off with the equinox sun –
Then followed their heirs, from the firstborn and eldest –
To younger – then youngest – then none.

The plague swept the camps and the swords swept the necks,
And the romance went out of the roam,
And the tales and adventures for telling through Winter
Would often not make it back home.

Then even the daughters, for lacking their brothers,
Would join for the pride of the shire –
When even the women were thrust into arms
Then you know that the world is on fire.

The war couldn’t last now, with nobody raising
The next generation to fight –
So either the feuding must splutter to ashes,
Or burn all to keep it alight.

The Thousand-Years War did not come to an end,
So they say – it just came to a stop.
Now folk and their cattle are slowly increasing,
And harvesters bring in the crop.

But I hear my countrymen, those who came home,
As they tell of their travels with sword.
And what of our enemy ?  Cheated us victory !-
Grandsons are dutif’ly awed

The war has been wounded, and needed to heal,
But it’s now getting frisky for gore –
Were years of futility not pain enough
That we’re keen for a thousand-odd more ?

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