This may be the last missive I write. We are surrounded this day by fiendish cats from the blackest part of Hell and though the lads near me are stout for the first time I see fear about me. Do they pray for Luck this day instead of leaning on their arms and legs. With our lines battered and broken can we win one more day?
Aye, these lions have teeth, but our spears are not dull. Do we tilt our heads to expose our necks? Do we submit? Is there none amongst you that will trust the archers to find holes? Will you not believe in our High Towers or that we can control the Torrain? The very field of battle itself. Our commander says claim faith. Good Michael says that in a test of wills we will not be hamstrung, but Armstrong! Can you stand with him? Lend your heart and your voice?
Aye, no day is certain and the growls are loud within our tents. Our stomachs hungry and our losses large. The limb can shake. The mouth do become dry. It has not been an easy campaign. That was not promised you. There were no lies. Buck up, lads. It will remain difficult, but tis is a chance to measure yourself. To see what stuff is in your heart, your head, and your sinew.
Are you a man? Are you a woman? Are less than a lad? Are ye only a curr beaten and whipped and ready to cower before a festering master like the Count of Vick who pretends injuries and staggers from the field who's only courage is against a muzzled or caged foe?
I hear the calls too. I grieve for the losses and curse the errors so Gross. Still, can you be hail? Will you lend your spirit, your voice, your fortitude. Or is it done for you? Are you over?
Do you hide behind the skirts and poor your eye's salt into your beer. Do you flee to cheer behind another commander's banner. Are you Dallas' man now or do you beg for a Bill?
Or does your fist strike with such force and your voice call with such fervor that the blackest lions of the jungle flee from your call.
Are you hail or are you prey? What are you this day?
Will you rise and march into the sun
Facing rival and beast and gore
What are you made of son of Washington
Do you cowner or fight one day more?
Yea though the fearsome felines be sharp of claw and fang yet they cower and slink away when contested well as many have seen.
Let it be thus so as we, stout of heart and strong of mettle, of claw unafraid and of fang unconcerned, muzzle their feral howls and with vigor and resolve set upon them in pursuit as hounds bound to the hunt and Beckon them to flee once again from the victor's bark and content themselves with mewling and futile hissing as envious they glare at the victor's prize.
__________________ Saying that you're a nice guy is like a restaurant whose only selling point is that the food doesn't make you sick. Be useful.