Wisdom begins with honesty,
So see, you must face and
Brace yourself for the fruit
Of your fleeting defeat.
Not so because you need
Note it down to learn. But
Because your return
cannot be spurned.

Taste the dirt, and savour it well,
Time will tell your story
All the more when Triumph
Finds you fit to sit
And feast at his right hand,
But only for a day
Then cast away
Until you’ve earned it once again.

Feel the blood trickle down your face,
And mix it with your fickle sweat,
Know the sting of mercy’s debt,
And promise to repay.
You will be broken,
Drowned in decay
And choking,
But you will endure.

A friendly hand will lend you strength
While you’re too weak to stand,
Clasp it, keep it,
Know the man who –
Through duty, love, and
Fidelity from above,
Will give your tree
New and mighty roots.

When finally within your keep,
Where daughters wail and mothers weep
To no avail, as you
While true to aim
And form anew,
Will not part, nor
Draw a breath
Content, until your triumph.

Those solitary steps will churn
The spirits and turn the heads
Of all whose limits kept
Them tethered to the ground,
But like a sounding horn
Your stride will drive
Into the hearts
Of progeny untold.

Each scar whose story tells of blows
And cuts when struck upon
The righteous path bygone,
Will school on parry, dodge,
And counter-harry, strike
On lowly pest
To rest and calm,
But little more.

Your ascent will bring both fear and joy,
For toying with the life they’d live,
Will deprive of reason
For their eternal drive
To quench the tended,
Cracked and mended
Inferno borne
Within your breast.

Triumph’s tang upon the palat,
Will linger just a moment,
Even while it’s not at hand
But grand within your mind.
As friendship finds its match,
Their company will lapse.
And so you’ll find the foe
Is now alone.

You’ll know the peak is near at hand,
By the pecking of their beaks, and grand
Vistas unrolled across
A limitless expanse.
Entranced at last,
The highest mount
Will yet humble,
Even you.

Atop the world your hall is found,
Companionship in troubled times
And enmity divined
All are thusly paid in kind,
And thus Triumphant
So you rise
Conqueror of all,
Beneath a sacred sky.

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