05 April 2006

A meeting in the land of Gray

Summoned I stand at this cross-roads betwixt and between,
Neither light nor darkness or of sleeping nor of dream,
A figure walks out of a man I barely know,
And his countnance doth figure of his times to show.

'Hello, son,' he said to me in soft greetings,
And 'Hello, sir' said I in turn,
He held his hand out to me,
And shook it as I would not spurn.

'You know of me tis plain,
Though not studied over much.'
My nod and slow release,
So my hand it would not clutch.

'From hard times I lived,
And did all that I could do.
But the mending it unravels,
Our land does not renew.'

'Yes,' said I, 'you saved us once,
From calamity and disdain.
From a torn time you gave us
A land softened by bloody rain.'

He looked down at this Grayness
Then back up at me, with a fire
That smouldered but slowly banked,
And shut his eyes and knew I said not in ire.

'Yes, son, tis true that is,
My heart rended two ways.
And you do not gainsay the
Truth as I lived my days.'

His eyes opened and he looked,
Upon me once more and deep,
'I did my best for everyone,
A restored Republic to keep.'

I smiled softly to him this great man,
And nodded slowly then.
'Your heart shorn with the Nation,
And great peace was to save both within your ken.'

He smiled softly and looked around,
'I dislike this land of Gray.
It reminds me of those with me,
Who would not see the light of day.

How do you know I'm personage
And not some piece of dream?'
I looked at this visage and saw
A man troubled by such team.

'It matters not in this Gray land,
For spirits of all sorts roam.
But the truth is in their telling
Even if they be far from home.'

He laughed heartily and with mirth,
That deep and hearty soul.
'Well said!' and then burst out
In laughter that shook his coal.

The warmth burned pure from him,
A lesser light but still one of strength.
And if a dream had captured such,
I would give it that fair length.

As his laughter slowly stilled,
He looked deep upon me now.
'I did all I could to save my soul,
And the Nation to recover from my blow.'

'You gave the Nation back to us,
And stopped us from tearing more.
More than 140 years of peace,
And a Union of lengthy shore.'

He looked hard again, and deeper still,
'How can you know my soul?'
I smiled softly and pursed my lips,
And softly spoke, 'You showed it by your goal.'

Shivering once with the wind,
That came unto his back.
'I did all I could and my hands are red
My sorrow will never slack.'

'The redness not from one side, sir,
And that which you see as stain.
Is the mingling of blood in Union
Upon death's drear plane.'

'I castigated those that wished,
To continue the fight years and years to go.
And told those that could not amend,
That they maligned a peace settled in my soul.

I cannot come back to save that peace,
My time has run to end,
And few do I ever find in this land of Gray.
Those few can not keep my message I wish to send.'

I look to him, who bravely led,
And had seen friend and friend fight
Against each other and knew
That his burden is not light.

'Tell, me sir, for oft-times,
I can speak of this Gray crossroads.
And I hope not to mangle that
Which you need tell from this shadow mode.'

He smiled softly, warmth of sun
Came out from him, that a had led
Many a battle in land and heart.
'Then I give you from my view in red.

One Nation shorn apart could not
Have both parts stand to know it all.
And my hard won peace is ending,
Division returning with fierce call.

I beseech my sons and daughters
Who came from a re-united land:
Keep to that Republic forged in bloody fire,
And know the cleansing Sword at hand

And feel the warmth of past.
We gave Our blood unto you
And a mending land.
The Sword will die and the People to the last,

If the Republic you do not keep whole,
Then the Sword will reap hard and fast.
And you will all be ashamed deeply,
Right into your soul.

In the end that Sword wielded me,
Though I knew it not.
My peace for 140 years and more,
Kept deep blood from running hot.

But that heat is stilling, now,
The House dividing once again.
And soon only the Great Sword
Will be the Republic's to wield within its ken.

And Damned are you who betray,
The hard won gift of Peace.
Seeking to still the heart
Of the great gift of the deceased.

Keep this Nation whole for me,
It cost in blood and soul.
And feel the weight of that Sword
Glowing brightly from the coal.

That Sword was mighty in my time,
And I gave hard to make it greater still.
If the land be divided,
The Sword unleashed shall kill.

And then blood be upon your hands,
Reddening a deep dark stain.
To those who encouraged and sat by,
That deep red richness will be your only gain.

I paid my butcher's bill,
To that Great Sword just the once.
And then put it back into the Fire,
Hoping my peace would keep it nonce.'

He looked unto me, with quietude,
'It be long to say,
But I trust unto you,
From one who's seen the Sword at bay.'

'I shall do my best, fine sir,
And send your words clear out.
But you know tis not my place
To give rant and scream and shout.'

He chuckled as he turned,
Then walked into Gray mist.
'Such is best my son,
For a whisper heard is not a whisper missed'

I smiled some and was sad,
To watch him move from me.
And said unto him as Gray took his form,
'Keep safe, Our General Lee.'

Written as the fingers move, with only some amending for an attempt to keep semblance of meter and such. I failed, but it was what needed to be said.

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