A KNIGHT AND AN OLD MAN

NAVEEN KELVIN – CLASS XII

On a stallion which was white,
Rode away a brilliant knight,
He was armored from throat to feet,
His hair was blond and very neat.
He was riding away to battle,
When he met an old man herding cattle.

‘Move old man’, he commanded,
‘Or these sheep of yours will be stranded’
The old man looked straight into his eyes,
For the knight was twice his size.

‘I’m going to fight in a war,
With you, I don’t want to spar’
The old man simply smiled,
‘Young man, why are you so wild?

‘Just because you are tall, strong and clever,
Doesn’t mean defeated you’ll be never.
Pride has bought great giants down,
At me why do you frown?’

‘I have to hurry’, said the knight,
‘I have to reach the field by daylight,
What you say might be right,
But against me none can fight’

The old man simply sighed,
‘Your enemies before, you may hide,
But tell me, with your chest so wide,
Can you stop life’s tide?

‘Can you stop yourself from dying,
If you can, you are surely lying,
Against death, your armor can’t protect,
What use then is your strength and intellect?’

The knight decided to pay heed,
Of the old man’s wisdom he felt a need,
‘Pray, do go on’, the knight said,
‘My enemies can wait a while before I strike them dead’

‘Ah, there’s your pride again,
Which puts your armor and sword in vain.
Think of all the pain,
You’ve caused the men you’ve slain.

Have you ever spared a thought,
Blindly as you’ve fought,
As you drain a soldier’s life,
What of his children and his wife?

Have you ever spared a thought?
As you let the soldier’s bodies rot,
They too were fighting for a king,
Their funeral songs who will sing?

Have you ever spared a thought,
About all those children that you’ve fought,
All those were innocent lives,
That you cut open with your knives.

Who am I to block your path, but an old man,
From here all my cattle have ran.
Go ahead, there are people waiting to be killed,
May your thirst for blood be fulfilled.

As the knight was riding away,
A sad truth he learnt that day,
Never would he lift his sword again,
Never would he cause another human pain.

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