a Tale of the Death of Honor
Friends! Comrades! My Brothers indeed!
Len me not your ears, but bind now our hearts.
We honorable men are a swiftly dying breed,
And, because of our creed, let each man do his part.
Let each brother, after me, pick a maiden rose
And with its prick swear to walk abreast,
So within noble hearts our honor will grow:
With none standing before, but none behind the rest!
Sound the trump, let the even the echo’s proclaim
That our sacred brotherhood shall not be trounced!
Let us walk through gauntlet of storm and steel
For in the rebellious world, it’s honor alone that counts.
Through marsh and mire the walked along,
Through boreal and arctic with a gleeful song,
Side by side, where the honored belong.
But then they came to a door:
A heavy door, the hardware tarnished
But its walnut grain was freshly varnished.
The hushed voice of Opportunity
Was heard softly from the other side.
What thinks it of itself, this wall
That stands here, so bold-chested and tall?
We can give it a trembling fall,
For it’s brick and mortar, and that is all.
Good sir, I believe that is not now a choice,
For cannot you hear the hushéd voice?
That Opportunity is our just cause to rejoice…
There is but one way, that I can conceive.
That door is but one man wide,
And we all today aim to get inside.
Let us all let blood, and when that blood has dried,
Let us our fates and futures receive.
But now we stand in a line, none behind, and none before.
Who among us shall come first upon that door,
And who shall trod the footprints, while his brothers discover Opportunity’s core?
For the line is faint ‘twixt honor and pride,
And thusly greed makes a good living of the meandering mind.
Nary a noble man would suggest his own name,
But neither will an honorable man willfully surrender this game.
Oh! Your whining and pleading, save us the agony!
Your postulates paltry, and spare us the philosophy!
Let us test whose honor is real…
I will meet this door with my keen, cold steel.
Nay sir, this voice, it calls to me!
Through the keyhole its sad silhouettes only I can see,
Let me, for our sake, Let Opportunity free
And we will meet it as friends…
You wordy warlock! You ill-willing witch!
The very thought makes my heart sick, and twitch.
Nay, I will turn the thick door’s switch
Wilt thou provoke me?
Have at thee, boy!
I will send you home on your own shield,
For my will is no mere toy!
And where now is the honor?