Unsheathe Your Swords



Before the enemy’s army they stood.

Men of every walk – doctors, teachers, and cutters of wood.

Laying down apathy, taking up the war. Here they stood.

The parapets tower high above the weary men.

These few be but the remnant of thousands slain.

A band of pale, death-ridden, burnt-out men.

Their rusty armour creaks as they march.

“Form ranks! Form ranks!” the commander barks.

The strong carry their fellowmen as they march.

Over the mountains, through the valleys tis a band fourscore.

Last survivors of the 10th legion whose emblem they bore.

They crest the hill to battle – battle-hardened fourscore.

Down in the valley, the army of hellfire awaits.

They the hunters, the fourscore the prey.

The javelins and spears quiver as the army of hell waits.

The thunder of horses greet the fourscore’s ears.

The clash of two-edged steel strikes out chimes of fear,

The shields and bucklers clash, arrows sing death’s song in their ears.

The ground trembles as the trolls and goblins come forth,

Like the sand of the sea and the stars in the sky above.

The fourscore form ranks  and stand forth.

Fire! The catapults let loose. Wardogs strain their chains and howl.

Comes forward the fourscore’s captain, dons his cowl.

On this day shall the families of many howl.

As the tumult rises, it shakes the earth where they assemble.

The fourscore feel their knees shake and tremble.

They watch as the enemy’s elite forces assemble.

Hordes of arrows rain from the sky, striking down.

Fourscore men march forward as the cavalry shakes the ground.

The clouds gather, and heaven’s tears of mourning fall down.

The blood courses through their nostrils.

Fight till they die, but surrender they never will.

The smell of blood fills their flaring nostrils.

“Stand to!” Calls their captain. He grips his sword.

The enemy comes a stone’s throw away. “Surrender or die!” calls the army’s lord.

Turns the captain to his men: “Unsheathe your swords!!”

He draws his sword, let’s loose a roar,

Charges towards the enemy’s core.

“Let blood spill!” His fourscore unsheathe their swords.

The steel of well-honed instruments splits the battlefield

As fourscore warriors charge into the centre, death’s hand they wield.

Into the thick they drive – they create a blood-stained battlefield.

Unsheathed swords slash all around,

Till buried beneath darkness that surrounds.

The captain stands tall once more, then is compassed round.


Story behind the poem:

Inspired from watching too many war movies with outnumbered heroes. 😛


photo is a screenshot of the Last Samurai


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