The pride of Heron yielded to the sway
Of moment’s need. He felt the heat of sight–
Inhabitants of sky–upon him weigh.
But still persisted he in evil sleight
Of pulverizing air with beating flight–
With Swan, a sword demanding grip of kings,
And two tight clenched fists with bulk of might
To wield respectfully its graceful wing,
With bulk to swing its girth against inertia’s sling.
Not merely sword did heaven’s patrons view:
The pauldrons, cuirass, armlets, each apiece
Cast from the elements of Sky’s rare brew
And colored by the tempering fires cerise
That always burned in Sky’s horizon, east–
Another testament of Heron’s sin.
For on his vambrace, helmet, cuirass each,
A monument depicting winged man
Returning to their home, a place forever banned!
Conviction like the gods did thorough ride.
For from the ground, the friends of Heron’s son
On armored horse did sling destruction wide,
Since those who fell not from the horse’s tons
Were slain by flail or sword or mace, or spun
To see incoming jabs of spear or axe
Thrown perfect, straight, no chance to be outrun.
And all the while came ceaseless flowing stacks
Of pelting, burning bolts and arrows aimed at backs.
Then Heron saw the men of horse ride proud
And thanked the heavens for his tribe’s relief,
And also begged forgiveness for a vow,
The price to live with heaven’s Sky in peace:
To never take to flight, not even least.
Against son, sin far worse, so live he could
With heaven’s lasting wrath, those enemies,
To fend against them all, eternal good
If only sorrow’s depth for dear son, understood!
A crew of fighting men withstanding flack
Retained formation, wall of shields’ display
With hills of heaping bodies at their backs–
A blockade from the help of cavalry,
A thousand strong, pressed fast toward the way
Of center front, a forward charge to glean.
The sun beat down, and desperate cries purveyed
Their anger, overflowing from such scenes,
So, struck they, running quick to tribe’s ravine.
The craggy meadow’s village, hidden home,
Where rolling hills and ridges like a robe
Of many layers guard reposed dome,
Disturbed by only river’s washing ode
As one repeating Wind’s so-cherished goad
To saturate the hills, still flurries fraught
With echos of its answers. Now the road
To swarm with vermin, brood malefic plot:
“Go! Sow with gall, and reap with devastation’s blot!”