Pelennor (Little Doings)

Six leages from the out-wall
by the bend of Anduin
a weathered stone lies fallen
amid the fields of green,
bearing signs, once finely crafted,
overgrown by moss and weed,
in tongues of Mark and Gondor
that few now write or read:
“To those whom none remember,
to those of lesser name,
outshone by kings and heroes,
suffering just the same,
to the common hands and horsemen,
the forgotten sons of war,
and a thousand little doings
in the days of Pelennor.”

“I've lived my life for Gondor,
I have battled, I have bled,
but when age consumes men's vigor
they send their sons instead.
My oldest got the hauberk,
the second helm and shield,
the lad asked for the longsword
that he could barely wield.”
“So he helped me with the buckles
as I shook with pride and fear.
He never bade farewell to us
nor shed a single tear,
but a shadow veiled his features
when he softly closed the door.
By dusk we were united
in the sleep of Pelennor.”

“The first charge split my spear shaft,
my sword fell in the fray,
reins cut into clenched fingers:
I would not kill today.
Still I stayed beside my captain,
thundering hoofbeats in my ears,
into a crimson nightfall
singing through the tears.”
“I walked amid the battle
to heal or else grant rest.
He lay there, still in stirrups,
three arrows in his breast,
yet he talked of wind and horses,
and when he talked no more
I held him close and waited
in the heat of Pelennor.”

“I brought a message
that may have saved a life.”
“I stood on the Rammas
armed only with a knife.”
“I took up a banner
and briefly saw it fly.”
I fulfilled my duty
never asking why.”
“I have foundered.” “I have fallen.”
“I've held out.” “I've done my share.”
“I stood the test.” “I gave my best.”
“I was there.”

We have seen a thousand endings
and each one left its mark.
We've heard the rain of arrows
and wing strokes in the dark,
and we knew our age was wasting
in the malice from the east,
though of all who faced the fire
we may have been the least.
We are those whom none remember,
we are men of lesser name,
outshone by kings and heroes
we suffered just the same.
Now once more soft grass is growing
where we toiled in days of yore,
here we lived and here we perished
by the will of Pelennor,
here we perished
on the fields of Pelennor.

Eva, February 16th, 2007

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