Found an old man standing in front of me
frail and grim and pale
asked him to tell me a story
while he was gently drowning in his ale
the old man looked up, and a lost twinkle came back to his eye
he looked up, lost in the past of a once promised-filled sky

“Son we once thought we would all become kings
we would heal the world until it lost all its stings
we were filled with promises and we were armoured like knights
with our leather jackets and corner-mouthed cigarettes, we all set out”

“There were changes in our world we thought we had it controlled
we were going to send the world’s demons to hell but conjured up our own
if the world were a highway we crashed more than drove ahead
one by one we warriors have fallen some to the bottle, some to the dead”

I looked at the old man standing before me, a single tear fell from my eye
the old man in that mirror was me, and I remember each try
we were going to change the world and it ate us like a lion
good intentions don’t always win and trust me I am not lyin’

Maybe you new ‘uns hearing this tale
will take up the cross and bear our pain
the world has demons we have never slain
the road is hard and long, but maybe you can lift the world of its stain

“Son we once thought we would all become kings
we would heal the world until it lost all its stings
we were filled with promises and we were armoured like knights
with our leather jackets and corner-mouthed cigarettes, we all set out”

“There were changes in our world we thought we had it controlled
we were going to send the world’s demons to hell but conjured up our own
if the world were a highway we crashed more than drove ahead
one by one we warriors have fallen some to the bottle, some to the dead”

(c) 2016 Allen Simpson
Inspired by The Bard’s Song by Blind Guardian and The series Vikings

Photo taken at Fort Klapperkop, Pretoria

Photo copyrighted to Allen Wolfie Simpson & Hanneliese Bredell

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