Tradition is a dang’rous word, to me.
Not the me of song, but rather it is thee.
The me of placeless condescension,
And of ration’l righteous derogation.
The me in ignorance of his own past.
For while the push of old, and pull of new,
Doth guide the thoughts of men who blindly grow,
The structures of their mind on shifting ground,
When all that’s seen and seen to be is found,
Still blurry and unclear: a fancy’s dance…
…the masters hold their minds in chains and binds,
They show the way, and hold the reigns that guide:
The voters, plebs, the serfs, and slaves alike,
All are bound, enraptured in delight,
Before the splend’rous stories told from on high.
The power of the empire is the might
Of state, the strength of state is in the nation’s bite,
And as the people are the nation’s fist;
It’s lofty stories that inform their grit.
So if allowed, the bard is seldom low…
Tales around the fire of lengthy evenings,
Of great and mighty heroes and of kings,
From whom they all descend, and take their traits,
Virtues, quirks, and thus a glorious future make.
All behind the tongue of skillful bards.
In every song and tale there lies a test,
Will he who sits in shade beneath the best,
Rise to meet the challenge set – or maybe…
Go beyond the simple path and daily
Strive for greater things than any other.
But more than that the tales bestow a truth,
No single lesson, but a tree to bear fruit,
In newer ways to view their world and;
The ground on which a fact may thusly stand,
In full embrace of all and held in kind.
All the while; those bards, those wily wards of thought,
Will craft themselves the place within – they sought,
So built within the frame we’ll find them,
Champions of vital tales; the gems
In need of care and polish, lest they dull.
The finest bards are those who act their works,
With all their grandest foibles and their quirks,
Carried through in faithful acts to creed and will,
Or perhaps even to simple thrill,
As alluring as his words; are they all.
They speak the earth into its great purpose,
A wonder to enjoy or as a nurse;
We’ll know it by their song, be it the sky
In open space eternal? Or a mine,
Of precious gifts that only need be grasped?
Thus only in the wake of word and deed,
At last we find a full and honest creed,
To follow in their footsteps laid ahead,
We’ll know the sight and smell; and taste the bread
That nourishes our souls and calms our fears.
We know at once from whence we hail and rest,
Both who we are, and who we were, a blessed
And providencial folk of fate divine.
We as they once sung these chants but lost the cry,
Among the multitude of fleeting ‘me’s’.
Measured by the skill of bards and heroes,
When they as we once trod the path that goes,
Beyond the lives of mortal, ration’l man,
Our hardened hearts eschewed the easy; and,
Set ourselves upon the path to glory.
Crafting virtue into words was made
An easy task, so too the words to deeds.
Words to guide, and words to show the truth now-
Known and felt, a truth to which they all would bow,
With pure and righteous words upon their lips.
A single tool was now required to fill
Their hearts and minds – to now at last reveal
The path to: all we see around us hence:
In stone and steel their will is left to us.
But by that last component lost – we’re blind.
Only through a lifetime spent in works do
The stories, truths, and lofty virtue true,
Begin to make and grant a loyalty,
Giving a purpose, and drowning the ‘me’,
In a sea of honour, duty, and resolve.
Even the shadow of a valiant thread,
Only partly spied – not fully known. Yet
Working on the world and minds, revealing
Wants and ways, a tradition appealing
To the need for guidance in life and thought.
While heroes blazed the trail, the multitude
Grant conviction, strength, and sire the brood
To march the story, onwards, ever on.
And only then does a tradition become:
A Civilisational foundation.
But they were not to know it yet, for they:
Huddled around a warming fire, would pay
The fruits of their devotion forward, and
Through great and terrible dismay but grand
Designs and plans now built, on humble thought.
The glow of fireside hopes – yet warms me
Even now, and though their names are lost in seas
Of time and noise, the lore they felt and loved,
Once dragged the earth into the sky above,
Defiant in their fight against the fates.