The Sun by Merwin

The Fog

The thickness of it stifled one's pipes. We, soaked as we were, prayed for light to come early. We knew our brilliant Hero could chase this dank demon and minimize our losses.

We couldn't breath deep without our lungs convulsing in rebellion, and we must deeply draw breath to hasten our not so silent retreat.

A loud coughing report yonder, followed by an agonized scream, hasten, hasten.

My inner voice bid me forward, Eastward, run to our rescuer, run to our only hope.

Another, who no could longer breath quietly let go a wail of complaint, that his redeemer was too late, too late.

We invaded this land to save our King his ransom, for we are but a poor kingdom and our King's heart is for his people.

We knew not of our enemy's ally, this accursed fog. It layed about the land that they know all too well, cloaking them, they were ready.

At the moment of their revelation, the fog hid the path of our retreat from us, it caused us to betray ourselves noisily.

We sung a hacking ballad for our pursuers to follow, and they, the demon's allies seemed immune for I heard only my mates before their end, and nothing from those that fell them.

Come, bright and dry, send this wet monster back, with each stride I press to the East, my lungs ache but do not burn, cooled by the thick mist that sought to choke me.

I heard strides behind me friend or foe, friend or foe? I was wheezing heavily, friend or foe? I dared not give sound to my query.

Enough! More speed! He, friend or foe, knew my place and followed or pursued, lighter and brighter with each pace.

There! There was our Hero that sent his bright shafts through the boughs of those dark giants on the ridge, those trees were our friends mere hours before, they seemed to embrace us before we ventured to this valley, now they slow our help.

More shafts of hope to thin the will of the demon that hobbled our lives and helped those who would break the heart of our Liege.

More shafts that tore at the enemy's resolve, for they knew their demon ally would soon desert them.

Then we were defeating ourselves by retreating, for we ran East toward the ridge that with each pace provided shadow and shelter for the demon, shelter from our Hero.

I gave my cry through my ravaged pipes, "Turn lads, turn and face your King's captors we have them now for we have our Hero."

We all turned as one to see the backs of our enemies who were trying to regain the company of their even faster coward and former confidant.

I screamed, "To our King... we have our redemption, to our King!"


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