Ballad of the Traveling Man

Submitted by Ezra on Sun, 04/13/2008 - 19:10

In the small dark village of Yakathaim
Near the edge of blackness vale
I spied a bronzen man who came
O’re the rocky mountain trail

His boots were cov’ed in gritty dust
His hands were worn and rough
His sword was red with years of rust
And His voice was thick and gruff

“Ho, thou long worn traveling-man,”
I hailed him on the road,
“Come hence, I’ll give thee a hand,
And rest awhile thy load.”

I brought him to the village inn
Where he rest his weary feet,
And ate, and smoothed his weary thirst
With cider cold and sweet

Then the village gathered all around,
To hear his tails of dare,
And he spoke with quiet, steady sound,
Of adventures bold and fair

But I asked him, “Why travel here,
To this dark and shadowed land?
Not of hope we know, but fear.”
Then held he up his hand

Long ragged scars across it lay
Of battles long ago
Incurred in some fantastic fray
Or fight, for all I know

Quoth he, “I once lived just the same;
In a dim and shadowed fear.
I care not to see you the same;
Which is why I came here.”

Then stood he up and dropped his cup
And took his battered sword
And stopped he not to rest or sup
But went down to the ford.

Across it lay the forest dark,
Across it lay our fears;
Across it went the traveling man
And followed silent cheers

For many days we saw him not,
But wondered at his fate
For many days he sought his foe
Until one evening, late

We heard the distant crash of swords,
And evil, hellish screams;
The man had met the monster
And had vanquished it, it seems

Author's age when written


I really like this poem, Ezra! It was so cool!
Whatever you are, be a good one-Abe Lincoln

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

I love it! It does end rather abrupt though -- I'm holding my breath to see what happens, and finally victory is proclaimed at the end of stanza 12 -- but that's the end. I was kind of expecting one last stanza of "falling action." Did you end it abruptly on purpose?

"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

Perhaps I will expand it some day, but I had run out of steam at that point.

"There are no great men of God. There are only pitiful, sorry men whose God is great beyond measure." - Paul Washer [originally Jonathan Edwards]

Actually the end is my favorite, I like it the way it is.

I always enjoy your writing Ezra. I actually like the ending as well - from the viewpoint of the villagers, that was all they'd seen so it makes sense for the battle to be abrupt and details unknown.
Maybe another paragraph detailing the traveler's return, or a line saying the traveler and monster were never seen by the villagers again?

Thanks for all of the comments; it was fun to write, although it's really not poetry - just a very short story told in rhyme.

"There are no great men of God. There are only pitiful, sorry men whose God is great beyond measure." - Paul Washer [originally Jonathan Edwards]

Absolutely wonderful. It did end a little abruptly, but I think it's like some. You think more about the story than about the way it was written. I think it actually gave it a nice effect. It's the kind of poem that keeps you thinking for a while.