My son – who’s growing up so awfully fast
Into young manhood. What can your dad say?
The world is changed from what I knew times past.
Today is definitely another day.
Some things are better. Others are much worse.
But God remains unchanging. He’s the same
Whether the people us do bless or curse.
God is our tower of strength. He’s not to blame
When Life afflicts us during our few years.
He’s promised to walk through it by our side.
To feel our griefs, our sorrows, and our tears,
Our pleasures and our joys. May you decide
To set your hope on heaven’s joys hereafter
Where there’s no sorrow: only songs and laughter.
My little girl! Not little anymore.
But an adult, whose turning of eighteen
Occurs today! Congratulations for
Surviving in this crazy world of spleen
And moral outrage, where one’s every view
Is weighed to see if “politically correct”.
But stand against the flow: for what is True
This World will never know, cannot detect.
Christ lived, and died. His suffering ignites
Our love for Him and God. His love also
Empowers us to persist through the fights
With Satan’s minions on the earth below.
So – happy birthday! Today you’re eighteen
And many blessings have already seen
And many blessings yet from God will pour
Out on you. He loves you, we may be sure.
If Fate has written my Life in its Book
My liberty and freedom she has took.
And no vain pleadings, tears, nor lengthy prayers
Will change her mind. My Free Will I’ve forsook.
Yet full freedom: chaotic and most strange –
Its unpredictability can change
The future. And all prophecies prove false –
For from chaos, who can patterns arrange?
O foolish man! Traduce the Infinite?
And seek to fetter the Creator quite?
The One Being of all who’s truly Free
Who shapes the purposes of things aright!
The dwarves of Rhûn were stoutly striking iron hard
Upon their anvils, bellows blowing, blows which jarred
The arms to twist and turn the metal in the fire –
Red hot – it obeyed the dwarven smith’s desire.
Unease tugged at the man-heart of Dundolin
High-manned he the watch-tower, and stood therein.
He scanned with eyes now weary from the ending watch
Relief was near. And looking round he saw a patch
Of scant autumnal colours wave their raggéd leaves
Upon the hills. Just so do lazy summer seas
Swell gently with the fluctuations of the tide.
And soon the wintry blasts will strike the mountainside
Throw snowy blankets deep around to put to sleep
The growths surrounding everywhere the dwarven keep.
Dundolin was the nephew-born to Unwin, King
Of Dwarvish folk in Rhûn. King Unwin sought to bring
Dundolin up as heir – for he had took no wife
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One day we’ll meet our end – but will not die.
From death we step to life renewed. But why?
How can it be that when I see my old
And failing body laid inside the cold
Damp earth that that is not the final end?
Why not? Some power greater will contend
To draw my soul from sleep to give rebirth!
Some power greater than which drives the earth
Around the sun: and greater than us all.
God’s power resurrects us then withal
To stand – or fall into a dismal gloom
Without Him worse by far than the mere tomb.
Here’s cause for hope – and fear! Closely attend:
Of this be sure mere death is not the end.
“I’m mad! I’m mad! Burnt on my brain
I see the bodies of the slain!
The corpses of: father, my son,
My husband! Soon they’ll be no-one
Left me! To live is but a curse!
What can the gods do to me worse?
I die? And so? Life is but bad!
My burning brain! I’m going mad!
The Greeks in battle cut them down
Before, without our Trojan town.
By blade, with arrows, one by one
I lost me yet another son!
Neither the first – nor yet my last
Was Hector slain and then downcast
Behind the victor’s chariot wheels.
The agony! My memory reels!
Achilles! Curse his bloodied blade!
Yet by my Paris was he slayed –
Who’s slain in turn by archers Greek
Before even elapsed a week!
My senses drown in mounting grief!
My suffering is beyond belief!
King Priam near the altar lies
His life-blood dripping. His last cries –
A plea for mercy – never heard
For death denies his final word!
I clasp his body to my breast.
His life bleeds out. I him addressed
With gentle words. Upon my hands
His blood. He no more understands –
For Hades took his noble soul.
Why not mine too? No longer whole
My mind fragments along its seams
Recalling myriad might-have-beens…
Polyxena – sacrificed
Because no winds present sufficed
To waft the Grecian ships back home!
She’s dead! She’s dead! Now I’m alone!
She’s sacrificed to Achilles.
I begged her life! But to my pleas
All hearts turned stone, all ears were dumb.
My sorrow grows. My heart is numb!
I’m drowning in a flood of tears
And dead are all my former fears.
Polydorus – my young boy
We sent outside beleaguered Troy
To Thrace. But did this save him? No!
For Thrace’s king would have it so:
He slays his guest! Butchers my son!
I saw myself what he had done:
The body washed up on our sand –
My son’s corpse slashed by murderers’ hand!
I beat my breast! I tore my hair!
My soul is darkened by despair…
Someone told me the lots were cast.
Some Greeks now drag me to the mast.
What ship? Belongs to Ulysses?
I am his bond-slave? I must please
The man who built the Trojan horse?
Whose ruse succeeding, turned the course
Of war to our Trojan defeat?
This shame my reason will unseat-”
The transformation happens fast
As Hecuba succumbs at last
To heavy griefs, darkest despair.
A shimmer on the beach-side air
Before she can be dragged aboard
The Grecian ship: Hecuba roared!
See what Hecuba is become:
A pitch-black beast under the sun!
Hecuba tears with tooth and claw
Out-fights her captors, bonds up-tore
And battles her way through the men
To freedom: she is free again!
The black hellhound then streaks away –
For old Hecuba died that day.
The hellhound, though, is well I trow.
She hunts amongst the Furies now:
Bloodthirsty, savage, thing of dread
Longing to feast on Grecian dead!