Death Of A Chieftain

Adooomby Adam Latham05 Jan 2018

The people bore their leader home,
His body now an empty shell,
A clotted mess of blood and loam
From off the field on which he fell.

The day was won but at a cost
That countered victory and reward,
A mighty warrior chieftain lost
Slain by the stroke of a swinging sword.

Raised up upon his shield of oak
With leather straps and a silver boss,
His corpse draped over with a cloak
To hide the object of their loss.

Those battle scarred and weary few
Processed their sorrow shoulder high,
A sombre column two by two
Beneath a fading twilight sky.

With heavy hearts and heavier feet
They traversed over open ground,
Through swathes of gently swaying wheat
To where their village could be found.

And there amidst those mud daubed walls
Formed into houses round and thatched,
They entered to the anguished calls
Of women as their children watched.

The cries of both the young and old
Rang out as one despairing chime,
To see their man once brave and bold
Cut down too soon before his time.

While dropping down onto her knees,
The weight of grief too much to bear,
The chieftain's love in the night breeze
Knelt silent with a vacant stare.