Piker Press Banner
February 19, 2024

The Song of Matthew

By Sorin Martin

The Song of Matthew

In the days of yore
When dragons roamed,
When giants walked
And Krakens foamed,

There was a place
Where none would go,
Where dead men walked
And trees bent low.

Deep within
Those barrows deep,
Where ancient kings
Found their sleep,

Lay cursed gold
And gems of light
And silver blades
Of ancient rite,

Yet o'er these hoards
A giant lay,
Of bone and death,
A lifeless fay.

One night a man
Of mettle bold
Sought out the hoard
And troves of old.

The starlight fell upon the face
Of Matthew, brave and true,
And he with tread unwavering
Unto the barrows drew.

The grass below his feet was cold,
The moon hid all his light away,
The barrows rolled like storm wrought sea;
Frost cloaked the darling buds of May.

The stones all trembled on the hill
And fled into the vale,
And from the gnarls of the trees
Crept fog, so cold and pale.

The earth it shook and split in twain,
And rain began to fall.
A rising shadow hid the stars
Above the mountains tall.

Matthew froze in his stride
And turned his eyes in awe
Upon the form high above,
The spawn of broken law.

The giant bore a shroud of mail
Upon his silent breast;
His rotten flesh clung to his bones
That never had known rest.

Upon his skull he wore a helm
Forged from bloodied stone;
His visage held no gleaming eyes
To peer out from his bone.

Stout and resolute,
Matthew stood his ground
And faced the beast ahead,
Risen from the ground.

"Hear ye beast and flee,"
Cried Matthew without fear,
"I will cut you down,
Never shalt thou go from here."

The giant laughed aloud,
A cold and calloused scream,
And drew out his blade,
Which flashed with frigid gleam.

Then Matthew turned and drew
His sword out from its sheath
And planted firm his feet
Sure on the earth beneath.

Then they strove together.
The storm raged in the sky,
And on the earth below
The heaven's silver eye.

The blades clashed and sang,
The earth was cut and torn,
And the pair, long they fought
Until the coming morn.

As the sun awoke
Clouds hid away its light,
And the place remained
In masquerade of night.

Sweat beaded on the brow
Of Matthew, bold among men
As he fought against
The horrid spawn of sin.

The trees were felled, the flowers spurned
Upon that battlefield.
The stones were split and soil churned
When night refused to yield,

And as the sun was dying
At the ending of the day,
Matthew struck a blow
And pierced the dreaded fay.

The giant screamed and fell
His life, if life it could be named,
Fled his silent heart,
And the wild storm was tamed.

A quiet fell upon the earth,
The firmament grew still
The trees were quiet for a time
And birds withheld their trill.

Then the worlds sang
And cried out every praise
For Matthew who had slain
The beast with sightless gaze.

Matthew looked upon his kill,
With labored breath he sighed.
And high above, the clouds
Turned and opened wide.

The sunlight poured onto the earth
And washed the bloodied hill.
The winds again touched the lands
Where for ages they stood still.

Matthew turned his eyes
Unto the barrow hall
And saw within a treasure
Spread from wall to wall.

A greater wealth can ne'er be known
As which Matthew gained
Through that unforgotten night
Though now his life has waned.

And Matthew's name was known
To every distant shore,
When dragons flew and giants roamed
In the days of yore.

Article © Sorin Martin. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-04-18
Image(s) are public domain.
2 Reader Comments
02:21:01 PM
An epic poem in the ancient form. The setting in the barrows is perfect. Reminds me of the Barrow Weights of the Fellowship of the Ring. Always thought that was the creepiest part of the triology, even though it was just a side tangent.
11:20:50 PM
Bravo Mr. Martin. Well done. Bold and rick in imagery, and worthy of any retelling over an ale at the local pub.
Your Comments

The Piker Press moderates all comments.
Click here for the commenting policy.