The Emperor's Men

Poem By Andrew Shiston

Through the Suez Canal, on to the Red Sea
And towards the east
Where lives the nomad tribes
Across the dry and arid deserts
That draw the throats of man
Drink from the Arab's wells
Slake your thirst
Leave before you're found
By the roving owners trible bands
He posseses it all, the Emperor with his hands

Replenish, board your sailing ships
Sail out into the lonely seas
Keep sharp your eyes for pirates
That roam and wait for ships as yours
Sail fast before the wind
When crossing far from sandy shores,
This ship with cargos of spice and Saffron
Destined for a calph of the east
Who own the ports and desert lands
The air, the trees, the river and the wind carved sands

Beyond the dry and dusty dunes
Lay swathes of green and fertile lands
Gold temples, statues of all the gods
Reverence paid for by the Emperor's men
Who strut the cobbled streets
The guard him with a jealous hand
Fear for the restless ragged mobs
They hide in anger, in caves of stone
For even if the walls to fall
He is master of slaves and calph over all

Though he is but mortal man
His linage from a thousand years
Handed down from father to son
Drought, pestilence across the years
Does not foretell of tears to come
The wealth of these desert shores
Is not owned by one man
But the desert tribes
They bow to him as they cross his land
But his frail destiny will never be in his hands.

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