VI

The Princely Arrow

 

The archer, blackened by his choice,

hid down to hear the kingly voice

and wondered momentarily

if he could ever kingly be.

 

He grinned a thought of absolute

rejection of that dreadful route

his life might have taken, when

his father had forsaken him.

 

For the archer was born of noble stock,

and his family was counted ‘mongst the favoured flock

of Baronstown; that princely place

where princely play had taken place.

 

Yes, all knew the tales of children born

to women shunned and all forlorn,

while the carriages fair and horses grand

found the quickest way out of that noble land.

 

And few, if any, returned to claim

their heir, for fear of destroying their fame.

For if a son and heir waited strong at home,

then why be one punished if one liked to roam?

 

The archer caught the slightest hint

that The Wise King had seen him – the slightest glint

of knowing, of planning, of ready to react.

And he snapped from his dreams and came right back

to silently notch an arrow in preparation.

The Wise King must have seen him; it was not his imagination.

 

He stepped out from behind the father of stone,

and released without hesitation.

In his mind since that day, he could never atone

for the fatal mistake...his miscalculation.

 

For just as those gathered were cheering and clapping –

and The Good King was engulfed by vocal back-slapping –

the Crown Prince stepped out to be next to his father,

who drew him close in embrace instead of rather

just keeping him aside; which was normally done.

He could not have known he was killing his son.

 

A ten-year old boy, who had never known pain,

did not even cry out as the iron barb struck.

The arrow pierced deep, right into his brain.

He did not even feel it – such was the boy’s luck.

 

For the briefest of moments, His Majesty froze

with his son in his arms, locked in their death pose.

He looked from the arrow in the back of his head

to the archer at the end of the Chamber

...a man filled with dread.

 

The shock on their faces, each man to his own,

kept their eyes locked as the soldiers bore down.

They beat the man senseless, and made their rage known,

for the nobly born archer from princely Baronstown.

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