Your song is not a song of pride.
Let no one say that I have lied,
for I remember well the things
that formed your song through many springs:
the howling wolf, the breaking bough,
the sky above, the earth below;
and I remember, too, the rain
of leaves in fall, when they had lain
too long upon the tallest trees,
as though some sorrow to appease—
and you, in days long since gone by,
stood silhouetted 'gainst the sky:
a sorrowed, bent, translucent man,
time dripping from his clenchéd hand,
the grief of ages pressing down;
the sunset's red, the evening's sound
all passing through you, and all splayed
on ground on which you cast no shade—
and then I feared you could not bear
your burdens' crown of thorns, nor wear
the golden shield of love with pride:
I did not speak, I let you bide
your time, I stood and let you learn
your worth, your glory: let you burn
so bright, a comet in the sky--
but now a greater fear draws nigh;
now you are solid in your might,
your shadow long, your eyes alight
with love and hailed, enstoried deeds;
your pounding heart carries the seeds
of pride, of passion, of delight:
and so I fear your new day's night,
for Duty will not slake her thirst
for deeds more glorious than the first,
for names to last for better days:
and so, your heart laid bare, a blaze
of glory there, you'll take again
your arms up, hold them high, and then
fearless, go off to face the horde—
a last farewell, a shining sword!—
and when you fall, what shall remain
but bitter tears, grief's long refrain,
held back until you're out of sight;
rage at the dying of the light?
But though the sun may bake my tears,
Our joys will last me endless years.