(June 15,1942 / Aravayal, karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, South India)

The Brink Of A Battle

</></>One night when the moon had just risen,
A young maiden of golden hair sat upon a tree branch,
her hair a shining through the night,
the hilt of her sword she held so tight,
At the brink of a battle she knew was to be.

Her companions where whom she had always known,
all members of a pack up high in the trees,
they waited for the midnight light to shine,
the horses had slept and the dogs had whined,
The brink of a battle she knew was to be.

To her left a valorous warrior held still,
her best friend for life as would always stay,
the thoughts flowing from mind to mind,
the hope of all their precious mankind,
At the brink of a battle they knew was to be.

Underneath them there arose such a noise,
of drunken men swaggering and ill,
yet the leader held back,
a hand to the rack,
At the brink of a battle they knew was to be.

Now nobody knows how it was so,
when the branch from beneath him slipped,
but one of their warriors lurched,
from way off his perch,
At the brink of a battle he knew was to be.

The tallest of the enemy lines down below,
pulled out his dagger from beneath his cloaks,
brought it up to the neck that had bled,
lopping off his dear noble head,
At the brink of a battle they knew was to be.
Not a sound was made not even a twitter,
but from their perches the men all spilled,
lined in a military way,
none of them ever to be happy or gay,
At the brink of a battle that would soon be.

No one knows for sure what happened that night,
when out in the moonlight they quarreled so,
only the fair maiden,
and the valorous warrior,
Know what happened at the brink of a battle that was to be.

They were the only survivors I swear by my name,
neither one will tell you what happened that night,
but still they stand,
hand in a hand,
At the brink of a battle that they know is to be.

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Pablo Neruda

I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You

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