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His was the song I remember,
his song and my mother's retelling.
O sing the ravens
to the ears of my children,
O sing to them, Arion Stormcrow:
DOWN IN THE ARM OF CAERGOTH HE RODE:
PYRRHUS ALECTO, THE KNIGHT OF THE NIGHT OF BETRAYALS
FIREBRAND OF BURNING THAT CLOUDED THE STRAITS OF HYLO,
THE OIL AND ASH ON THE WATER, IGNITED COUNTRY.
FOREVER AND EVER THE VILLAGES BURN IN HIS PASSAGE,
AND THE GRAIN OF THE PEASANTRY, LIFE OF THE RAGGED ARMIES
THAT HARRIED HIM BACK TO THE KEEP OF THE CASTLE
WHERE PYRRHUS THE FIREBRINGER CANCELED THE WORLD
BENEATH THE DENIAL OF BATTLEMENTS,
WHERE HE DIED AMID STONE WITH HIS COVERING ARMIES.
FOR SEVENTEEN YEARS THE COUNTRY OF CAERGOTH
HAS BURNED AND BURNED WITH HIS EFFACING HAND,
A BARREN OF SHIRES AND HAMLETS,
AND Firebringer HISTORY HANGS ON THE PATH OF HIS NAME.
Look around you, my son
for the fire in Arion's singing:
For where in this country,
in forgotten Caergoth,
where does a single village burn?
Where does a peasant suffer
and starve by the fire of your father?
Somewhere to the east
before a white arras,
gilded with laurel
and gold adulation,
the bard sings a lie
in a listening house,
and Caergoth burns
in the world's imagining,
while the bard holds something
back from his singing,
something resembling the truth.
But let not the breath
of the fire touch your father,
Orestes, my son,
my arm in the dwindling world,
my own truth
soothed the effacing mother,
and darkly and silently
Orestes listened, the deadly harp
poised in his hand circuitous