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The Moat

They chased us over hills,

We fled by night and ate by day,

But could not satiate the hunger

Nor slake the thirst

Of the screaming, murderous hundreds

To pray for mercy from the fight.

They came at us like a wall of tides

And worried us on every side,

Chased us to the retreat of arbour,

Or so we thought when we reached our moat,

But so abysmal was the night, we fell

Water-deep in mud and flood.

I heard them cry as they were slain,

But the fierce wind masked their pain,

Those above us did what they could,

To rescue us from the torment of the flood.

The crossing widened with every drop

Yet still we were not across.

They slung us ropes but it was vain:

They fell into the rain.

All but two were swept away,

We felt like corpses already drowned,

Such was the night were none was found -

Swept away to eternity, in such short reach of the wall's harbour.

Yet a few of us had made it safe,

The gates flung open, our brethren braved

The enemy's arrows to haul us in

And welcome us by the fire

With porridge, song, lute and lyre.

We never loved so well our brothers

Who hauled us from that Hellish gutter.


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