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~ By Courtesy of Others ~


Final Thoughts of a Defiant Jarl

Steadily I wait for the storm of steel;
Though I seem fearless, I am most frightened.
By terrors to come, my heart is tightened.
But, none of my men must know how I feel.

They must not see how much sorrow I hold
For the losses I know we shall suffer.
Though by our last stand here, I seem tougher
And more rigid than before, I feel cold.

The chills in my spine, the tears in my eyes
I strongly hide, lest they weaken morale.
I defy defeat, though I know it shall
Take all our corpses as its gruesome prize.

The teeming rain drizzles down on our heads
As our foes fiendishly march toward us.
We brandish our blades; for battle we lust.
Our hearts are hardened; we ignore our dreads.

To be Jarl over such a fine war band,
Brings to my spirit unspeakable pride.
I mourn our impending loss, for we’ve died
Already, but in defiance we stand.

Before we enter the fray, I behold
The gray-clouded skies and I cry:
“Ravens, you must earn your cold meal, for nigh
Is our fate, but through fight only we fold!”

© Justin Douglas Blackford

Image: Battle of Grathe Heath, 1885, Lorenz Frølich (1820–1908),
Denish painter, illustrator and etcher.

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