XXVI

In Redemption's Reach

 

Every inch the prisoner felt his courage wearing thin,

for Fensham, after all his ways, was brought before The King.

Though he trusted in the Angel of his alteration said,

still his dark mind entertained the thought of being dead.

 

Fury boiled up in The Crown and the Bishop was delighted,

for here before them was the source of hatred re-ignited.

Now The King would turn to them and set back on the path,

for little hope was there for Fensham against The King’s wrath.

 

Breathing could be heard within the stone of God’s construction,

and the Churchmen stood in silence as they waited royal instruction.

For all his rage and vengeance sought,

The King saw the trap in which he was caught.

To lose control in front of these men

would validate their use of him.

And so to avoid any further danger,

he ordered the prisoner removed to his chamber.

 

The Bishop muttered ‘round his breath

that Fensham should be put to death.

But The King whipped ‘round and, with verbal incision,

said, ‘Such a judgement is not thy decision.’

 

Liberation for Fensham was briefly entertained,

but the harshness with which he was dragged away

left that thought out in the rain.

 

He stumbled and fell and was beaten in line,

and not once did The King look back

or bear this in mind.

 

When finally free from ears disloyal,

Fensham’s guilt stood squarely facing The Royal.

Once the palace had been cleared of questionable folk,

The King retired to his throne and quietly spoke:

 

‘Much time and deliberation pronounced

has moved me to declare thy soul denounced.

And yet my child speaketh still from the grave,

begging me greatly thy life to save.

Implore me now lest thou fallest from grace.

Why should I temper my wrath at thy face?’

 

Emotions were heightened with word of the child,

and Fensham himself felt his actions reviled.

Yet the measure of his being depended upon

the application of values and the man he had become:

 

‘For my past and thy present, Your Majesty,

thy son’s voice speaks greater than either of we.

For though I am guilty of treasonous disdain,

thou hast permitted corruption to reign.

 

‘This thing of the crown which calls itself religion

hast infected the kingdom with wanton superstition.

For all men should share in the harvest of the land,

and never should it be gathered to only one hand.

 

‘This Church, this poison, this corrupting defile

hast altered thee greatly in thine own domicile.

Punish me for what I began with my lust,

but dismantle this vengeful and spiteful mistrust.’

 

The King listened closely and closely considered,

knowing the truth of the message delivered.

Yet his darkness of mind saw an arrow let loose,

and the man of its blame swinging from his death’s noose:

 

‘Thou speakest the truth and I greatly agree.

Yet still didst thou seek to undermine me.

If I am to overlook justice performed,

my throne and my power shall be further deformed.

I hate thee, Lord Fensham, for what thou hast done.

Thou sought to usurp me and murdered my son.

Those with whom thou plotted were disloyalty portrayed,

and Lord Turlough was executed for the role which he played.

 

‘I suffer endlessly ‘midst the evil I have wrought,

and vengeance is less now the outcome I sought.

Yet with the Church snapping at my heels and my seat,

it is necessary to have thy punishment complete.’

 

Fensham weighed heavy the judgement to come.

Upon his shoulders bore greatly the bones of that son.

Yet he nodded acquiescence and fell to his face,

accepting his punishment and knowing his place.

 

And clinging to power with desperate might,

the wisdom of The King drifted further from right.

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