And to the left the Hilt of Sword
Who keeps the blades from fire when bored
Her leather coat is red-silk lined,
Brown feathers of rare kiwi blind
And copper discs all dress her coat
Yet she is not the one of note

And to the right the Rain Caller
His clothing made of white bear fur
Earrings azure, head dyed with woad
To lead the cloud-kings down the road
To every farm and drought-hit place
Yet he'll be easy to replace

Between the two, her coat all torn,
Her arms deep brown, her hair close-shorn,
A tired-looking engineer—
Nothing about her to cause fear—
And yet her plans, edges damp-curled,
Have forever reshaped the world

Not five sevens of years ago
She studied the great rivers low—
Took measurements, consulted maps,
Watched others cliff sides high collapse—
But for her diagrams alone
And then she went to see the throne

With but a hundred men, she said,
She could alter a river bed
And irrigate a good sized field,
But with ten thousand men to wield
Their shovels, well-fed, to divert
A river, she could change the earth

She told the queen she could enjoin
The rivers for a little coin
To shift the Hilt's blades swiftly round,
To irrigate the drying ground,
To give the queendom pathways swift,
All aided by the rivers' drift

Armed with her many digging men,
She started out, straightened a bend,
Built damns, constructed waterfalls
And aqueducts with high stone walls
Digging canals with patience slow
To take the rivers' ebb and flow

The Hilt of Sword hers to command
The Rain Callers were at her hand.
Nothing was to disturb her work,
Not a rainy day's greyish murk,
Not a raiding band of outlaws,
The queen said, not a moment's pause

And now five heptades' work is done
New rivers shining under sun.
Though battles are remembered most
And Rain Calling done by a host
Still, what a legacy to say,
Well I—I built the riverway