Fire in The Deep

Fire in The Deep

The red-gold and the copper leaves

Into the River fell,

The nameless River, strong and deep,

Where stars’ reflections dwell.

The countless silent Autumns passed,

How many none can tell;

No mortal walked beneath the trees

Until he fought and fell:

His hair was long and black as Night,

And fair he was of face;

A horn hung by his side, whose gold

His fingers oft would trace.

The warrior made his final stand,

His eyes like stormy seas;

His enemies came hunting him:

Death beneath the trees.

His helm was cleft, his sword was lost,

His armor worn and stained;

But in the auburn shadows dim

His craven foes remained.

He nocked his arrows one by one,

The empty quiver fell

Into the River, sad and deep,

Where stars’ reflections dwell.

A poisoned arrow found his heart,

Around him, all grew pale;

At last grim Death was taking him

Beyond the mortal vale.

The copper trees bled foggy gray,

Dissolving light and dark;

His horn he winded, clear and deep:

A final, echoed spark.

The fiery boughs wept crimson tears;

His foes rough laughter died

The warrior’s body slipped beneath

The River’s solemn tide.

Those copper leaves twined in his hair,

Remember him, they sigh,

He rests forever in the Deep-

Where stars’ reflections lie.

The countless golden autumns pass,

And every bright leaf calls

The warrior’s red-gold Requiem,

Until the Shadow falls.

This is the first ‘real’ poem that I ever wrote; the Warrior and the River have a special place in my heart. 

© Sheila Roberts

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