They Taught it Well
A poem for Denethor
They taught it well.
Thou canst not fail.
Thou shalt not fall.
They stand in carven outrage at my presumption.
That I should dare defile their great high line.
Least worthy one! What is pride to thee?
What hast thou to be proud of?
Pride is but folly.
But yet they taught it well.
And I cannot forget.
So cold, so implacable they stand.
Long carven rows of them.
Their faces so superior and wise.
Some noble; most corrupted, sinful, cruel.
Oh yes. All proud.
They stare in silent accusation
Of me, last scion of their nurturing.
Who dares thus mock their ancient pride.
With suffering, with failure.
Yea, with despair.
This is my betrayal.
My dark inheritance.
That pride that they ingrained so deep.
That it shall live long after I am gone.
Now pride shall serve as honour, glory, victory
For one who has none.
Now pride alone is left to me.
Dost thou not see?
Even in death, I cannot let it go.
That pride they taught so well.