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- A castle sat upon the hill, where all the power lay:
- The storehouse, armoury lay inside, the treasury, every day.
- The ruler and his dozen knights would tax the peasants poor,
- Would take a portion of their food and money for their store.
- They promised safety from their foes, protection from the night,
- But told them when to build a wall and when to run or fight.
- They the makers of the swords, the helmets, belts, and shields
- They the holders of the keys, the oil, and the seal.
- The town, in time, began to grow, too big to keep control,
- And people died or wandered off or fell in empty hole.
- It soon grew clear the ruler dear cared not for every one,
- For those who died or became lost, the ruler mourned but none.
- In fact, the ones he thought to save were those who knelt before
- In adoration, loyalty, allegiance evermore.
- From these he chose his guards and chiefs and up the ladder climbed,
- And if they worked and kissed enough, they, too, were knights in time.
- But there were some who did not die or wander through the mist,
- Nor did they bow or heed the beck or betray their heart with kiss.
- They stoked their fire and scraped for ore and forged their own sharp sword,
- And shaped a shield, a helmet, too, a breastplate for the war.
- They pressed their oil, and cut their keys, and carved out their own seal.
- Then walked away, just one by one, to find a place to heal.
- They were free now of the tax, the burden of the knights,
- Their own heads high, their own hearts sure, and ready for the fight.