Death lurked abroad that fateful day. Its intent…to assail
Our soldiers as they fought, over Evil to prevail.
Death claimed my comrades…yet as they ceased to be,
I faced cruel Death…but Death did not claim me.
Instead, it sent me hence that I might then meet with Betrayal.
Betrayal first claimed me, as Death said it must.
In its manacles I was restrained…I paid with Trust.
All Trust from me through Treachery was riven.
And that same Trust then to Betrayal was given.
My entity seemed rendered in the dust.
Despair then laid its claim…for I could not cope
When in its cords it bound me…I paid with Hope.
All Hope was unto the earth cast down,
And upon my visage I wore a tortured frown,
From being fettered fast with a scabrous rope.
Guilt then laid its claim…as it stood beside
Me…and I was shackled in its chains…I paid with Pride.
Guilt kept me chained until I was rotten to the core…
Until all Pride it took and left me with no more,
And thus did all my self-respect grievously subside.
Finally Torment laid its claim on me…to the extent
That it crushed me underfoot…I paid with Contentment.
And I lost whatever I took for Comfort…
What I had earned through my travails and painful effort.
And wearily I was left with all my worldly woes to lament.
So little had I left…that I was in Despair.
All Hope abandoned…for I was sore laid bare.
I had lost Pride when Guilt it visited me,
And Torment laughed its mirth…and took a fee
Of all Comfort and Contentment fair.
What will I give for Death…that at least I can be free?
Now do I give all that I have left…of every bit of me?
Oh! To be free from Life, War, earthly Evil and the Bad.
I yielded all the Trust, Hope, Pride, and Contentment I had.
Do I forsake now my family, my faith, and my sanity?
Cruel Death…I have suffered of thee enough to smart.
Yet, do not mistake my spirit for any lack of heart.
Of Death I have no dread…it doth not to me convey
Any Fear…from whatever else it is I have to pay,
Courage is still within me…and of that I will not part.
Thereof, what more do I have to fear about Death…
Than I had feared before I had ever met my birth?
For wont of not to feel…for then I shall not be.
No longer to feel neither pleasure nor anguish in me…
And to welcome my entombment within the encumbering earth.
Death acquits the departed from all worldly concern,
And confines only the living into its fearful prison.
Lo! I will not yield to Fear…heretofore I have inferred,
And of its menace I remain henceforth unstirred.
I will not pay to Fear what I have left…Courage therein.
When the interlude of Life hath breathed its terminal air,
It is as if we never have been really there.
Thus, it matters not if Death doth lay its claim on me.
Like the time before I began…I will no longer feel or see
The passing of Life…and everything as it were.
Thereto, of my ordeal and my agony…I can find
In selfish Death I will forever leave them behind.
Thus on better terms can Death lay claim on me…
If in wretchedness I live…and in dying shall I be free.
And friendly Death can shew it is both merciful and kind.
Come now…merciful Death…take me in your cold embrace…
And bear me to my final resting place.
While I await your answer to my fate,
With a festering numbness…as is my corporeal state,
I face my destiny with dignity and grace.
Now hold the dear departed souls in requiem…
To proclaim their noble lives and honour them.
Yet, I envy all my good companions…and the best,
As they finally take their leave…and deservéd rest,
And set forth in peace towards the hallowed fields of Elysium.
Even so, I should be grateful that at least we came to know
Each other, and to make our friendships grow…
Life is nothing without Death…of that we can be sure.
Life is to a burden of labour and Death is the end of mortal chore.
And our passing puts an end to worldly sorrow.
I shall sleep and never wake again,
And my surrendering of Life shall relieve my living pain.
Unless I gain from what I lost in War…
Trust, Hope and Pride…as I once held before…
And Contentment…resounding in gladdening refrain.
Though, if I am to be spared with Life…what should I do?
Perhaps I can to humankind be true.
The only reason that I still might wish to live…
Is to afford my time to others…to have something more to give.
To bestow a purpose to Life…and bring something fresh anew.
Perchance to banish Betrayal and Despair…Guilt and Torment.
And rekindle Trust and Hope…Pride and Contentment.
No longer to be a captive of misfortunes and woes…
To restore the values of Virtue, Fidelity and Justice…and to help compose
A friendlier and fairer world, with Joy and Peace to augment.
With Trust we know that tomorrow we will find
A Hope that Life for all will be enriched and loving and kind.
A better world…in which each of us reside
In a state of Bliss and Happiness and Pride…
And for each a Contentment…a calmer, restful and peaceful mind.
And so I continue to sojourn in this vale of misery…
Still to walk in the dark and treacherous shadows of Hate and Iniquity.
To wish to rid the world of War and Want and Tear.
To strive to overcome all Anguish, Doubt and Fear…
And for that just reason…Death hath not yet made its claim on me.