The Sage (Verse Viii, The Eve To War)

Through solemn eyes he hoped had lied,
A dense and dismal mass he spied.
Out of the darkness whence it came,
To murder and to maim........

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A saprophageous, slimy mass
That took on every shape,
Denied the Sage his easy pass
And no time to escape.

This bleak golgotha all around
His scanty form addressed,
The onslaught of sardonic sound
And tangible unrest.

His thoughts turned to Dominicus
Out in the west of Rud.
Those words he'd yelled now scurrilous,
And here should now be stood.

He must get word to his old friend,
A trap was all but set.
Deceptive-art, a demon’s trend
How could he soon forget?

Incanting ancient runes of old
He closed his weary eyes,
His equine friend he’d all but sold
To foes the world despised.

To face a prey that fed on blood
Whose numbers would be vast.
He’d stand defenceless where he stood
And surely perish fast.

With haste he gripped the black, charred staff
While blistered fingers burned.
That perspicacious psychopath
Would have his friend interned.

Transcending pain he muttered words
And held the staff up high.
Whence from the trees a flock of birds
Were cast unto the sky.

“Fly like the wind, to West, my friends,
Dominicus must flee!
Proclaim the Sage will make amends
If by my side he’ll be.”

One momentary shadow cast
A gloom above his head.
Then instantaneously passed
As to the West it sped.

by Warren Atherton

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