After the Season of War

Words and Music: Dorcas Whitecap

Hearken now to a lesson learned:
Better the grace of plough-land turned
Than the mire and muck of a battlefield churned
By the hungry boots of armies at war.

A man may mark the turning year
By ploughshare's bite and scythe-blade's shear.
But the time between is for sword and spear,
For he owes his liege the season of war.

And you who dream of victory grand,
Who long to sup at the king's right hand,
Should have a care for the humble land
That lies in the path of armies at war.

The cry of birds that chase the plough
Is a melody more sweet, I vow,
Than the greedy shrieks of carrion crows
That feed in the swath of armies at war.

A newborn babe may cry at night
But his mother's voice will soothe his fright.
But a new-made soldier wakes 'til light
With none to ease the terrors of war.

And you who eat with jeweled knife,
Who take a dowered lady to wife,
Should give a thought to a common man's life
When you plan to raise a levy for war.

A fairer cause to bend the bow
Is to hunt the flesh of the fallow doe
Than to seek the life of a distant foe
Who would seek your own in the season of war.

On summer hillsides cattle graze
'Til harvest casts its golden haze
And the chilling wind and shortening days
Soon bring an end to the waging of war.

And you who wage a great campaign
To win a crown and a noble name
Will face defeat by freezing rain
When Nature ends the season of war.

Hearken now to a lesson learned:
Heed the year-wheel's stately turn.
Snow will fall and ice will churn
And bring to an end the season of war.

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