It is ironic... That I, who have fought so long, Must now sit and watch While younger and more able ones Strap on their armour, wield weapons, And enter the field of battle... My arm feels the weight of a targe shield, And my hand longs for a dirk, Shoulders longing for the sweeping swing Of a claymore's whistling arc... My eyes seek out opponents, And my mind joyfully finds their weaknesses; Legs tense, balance becomes light, And a thousand years of blood fire
From a hundred thousand hearts Boils in my veins in anticipation Of the dance with death called War... But then, muscles lose their tension, Tears mist the searching eyes, And the piper's war march fades From ears accustomed to its call... The war face fades, the blood cools, And bitter truth chills the ancient
ardour. War is now but the stuff of verse, Not that which fires the soul; No more may I a fighter be, And in battle have no part, But in this rhymer's battered frame Still beats a warrior's heart.