John C. Smith
Templar. - Poem by John C. Smith
Stone buildings around a courtyard.
Cobblestones beneath my feet.
Black studded oaken doorways,
flickering torches; window grilles.
The changing of the guards, and
the whistling of the wind
around the cells beneath.
All this I see and hear before they come.
I steel myself at their footsteps
in case- - - - - - .
But no! I will not disgrace myself,
or any that I love.
I will stay true to my beliefs.
They come; with jangling keys
and clanging doors,
marching feet and chanting priests.
We walk along the shadowed way,
until we reach the light of day.
Cheering crowds, like dogs at bay
I halt at the sight of the pyre;
but prodded, I proceed.
Then tied hand and foot
amongst the faggots
I await the smell of smoke.
And in the silence that ensues
the crackling of the wood is loud;
and I see the faces
of the crowd
through the orange flames.
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