Gallant cried the horseman
saddled with his cloth and care,
rattling his salivating saber
to a bugle’s tune of God and Country.
There were no spurs so swift
beyond the field where trenches lay.
The drums and alarums still rattled banners
as man and beast gave rise to dusted glory,
untouchable, their raucous shadow lines where
gallant cried the horseman.
Barbed wire bound it,
lurching, whistling, wrangled thing,
torn beside the steaming trench.
dead beside the steaming trench.
Today, I’m trying something a little different here at the Waking Den. Poetry remains the name of the game, but this is a piece inspired, and built upon the basis of another, far older work, you may recall–Stephen Crane’s infamous “Fast rode the knight”. A testament to the transition of ages, and to the horrors of war, his work was an elegy to the medieval. However, war is a timeless thing, and our folly never resigned to one age or another – and in his words, I personally always saw the potential for application to WWI.
Trenches were the walls then. Our gallant knights instead well-dressed officers still possessed of honours and ideals the machine gun, and gas, and all the other horrors of that time would horrifically subdue. And so I worked a touch of modernization…hopefully without offending anyone; but then, that’s why this explanation was here. I hope you enjoyed, and I encourage you to read Crane’s original as well.