Out of Despair, Joy


As the warrior's tears fall,
He hears the vain echoes of the cloven horn.
He is in anguish.

He lies hopeless and broken,
Wounded in body and in spirit.
Lost are friends, lost is honor;
Defeat is all he remembers.
He tastes the bitter dregs
Of anger and failure,
Of deepest despair,
And he is alone in his pain.

No longer alone, now,
His friend comes to him, kneeling.
Before even he reaches his side
The wounded one cries out his anguish:
The little ones taken,
The betrayal of trust;
His lack of understanding,
And bitter sorrow at his weakness.
He fears the darkness; not of death,
But of war and defeat that comes to his people
Because of his failure.

His friend tries to comfort him,
Even as he grieves to see death approaching:
You fought bravely!
You have kept your honor!
But the despairing one cannot believe it;
His heart is torn at the thought
Of his City in ruin,
And his vow broken.
He sees only the darkness
That comes from loss of hope;
His voice breaks with sorrow,
Alas, it is too late!

Light breaks through the darkness;
He sees a kingly face
And hears a solemn vow:
The White City will not fall,
Nor our people fail.
Our people!
The heavy chain of blame and guilt
Is broken; his heart is set free.
His anguish is swept away
And despair is forgotten,
Replaced by joy and hope.
So simple a promise, yet it changes everything.

He smiles and nods
And accepts the promise,
Leaving the task in the hands of another.
His friend will see it done,
He can go in peace.
His honor salvaged,
The little ones rescued;
His people cared for,
His City saved.
Out of despair, joy!

He grips his sword,
And though his spirit is fleeing,
He comforts his brother, his captain
With words of loyalty and faith:
I would have followed you, my King!
Sight darkens, and voice is gone:
He cries in his heart, Farewell, my brother,
Until we meet again!

As his King's tears fall,
He hears the silver trumpets calling him Home.
He is at peace.

- Linaewen