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Obiter Dictum III
Oh King! Sat bare and naked by the Throne,
there be dust upon thine sword alone.

Other Kings do all vainglorious things,
while you lay home and count.. bedsprings.

And people in their lands, from what we know,
commend to us the wars to which they go.

You say you never killed a man at all,
to do so would cast a grubby pall.

But the pall be a'ready cast anew,
a charnel house, eternal rest too.

For the only pall cast is upon thee,
at least you may have brief moment to see..

My sword - 'tis sharp and hungers for your heart,
and I am firmly practiced of its art.

Farewell fool King with mercy for a sword,
I now usher in a new accord..

..but what's this? Laid pitched and bleeding by the Throne,
I feint.. from blows that split me and crush my very bones?..

I felt not where the first to last did strike,
and in a trice thought of the dust I saw this night.

Knowing all now.. as a spirit so does,
I find not dust, it was but ran dry blood.

Sad King! Sat bare and modest by Your Throne,
there now be yet further blood
upon thine ancient ancestor's sword to bemoan.
Copyright © Ben Kross

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