Scenes from a Near-Forgotten Grave
Nobody comes here anymore, there's nothing new to see,
Except a hillside with an open glade among the trees.
The open face lies southward so that where the sun has shone
Retains the warmth of summer days upon a work of stone.
The grave is overgrown with greenery, the ivy climbs
Along the contours of the smoothed and faded stone from times
Of wind and snow and shine. The years have rendered from its face
The name it held which only I remember in its place.
I have returned. I'm sorry I've been gone for far too long,
But I have traveled many miles and years, through tales and songs.
Our name is famous now, and I had hoped to make you see
The man you married did it all for what you meant to me.
I tried to see you every chance I had, though it appears
My life is hectic and I am a man of many cares.
I am only wandering for now until my day
To leave this world, and we can be together once again.
I couldn't come to celebrate the date that we were wed
For I was off in foreign lands, my saber running red
With blood of dreadful foes, I fought to keep a people free
Who didn't even know I cared, and didn't care for me.
I spent my years in vain attempts to dull this sense of loss
By running 'round the world- at war, adrift, and tempest-tossed.
When everything was done, I wished you waited for me still
With open arms at home and hearth, to love me as you will.
I always tried to make you proud of what I strove to be,
A better man than what I was the day you first met me.
The shining sword and scarlet cloak is fine, but there is more
To me inside that others missed, but you could not ignore.
Only you could overlook the fate I had to bear
Though it was carven in my face, you chose to learn and share.
You know I was an outlaw, and I guess I earned that name
For things I've done, but it was never meant to bring you shame.
I'd like to think I'll do what's right if death demands his fee,
And be as brave as you, who had to go because of me.
We know the reasons, and I don't begrudge their being born,
But pain's the price you paid, and left me with a family torn.
The pain had only just begun the day you went away.
Old anguish kept returning to dim our lives in little ways.
The older kids were sad of course to lose the mom they knew,
But worse for the newborn to have no memories of you.
But I'd not trade our past for all the fame a name can give,
If I could but have laid myself down so you might have lived.
I know I failed to keep you safe from fear, or pain, or death.
So now you know in all the years between, my one regret.
'Tis unbecoming of a man to cry when others see,
And so I keep you in my heart where hope will always be.
It helps to hide my tears when it is raining on your grave,
Though you should best ignore it when I come to you this way.
I see the morning sun attempt to run the rain away,
And know it is my time to go, but I'll be back someday.
I hope its not as long a wait as what it was this time.
Its nice to have someone to talk to when I'm so inclined.
If you could send a sign once in a while that you are near,
I'd feel much better when I'm down and life is dark and drear.
For you did more than I could ever do with all my might,
You made me see that all I've fought for in my life was right.