Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Night Before The First Battle of the Slave Revolt

Subtitle: I fail at writing children's poetry.
Unless you are the sort of person who thinks reading Grimm's fairy tales to kids is a good idea. Not that I'd ever compare myself to the Brothers Grimm. Maybe a really cheesy version. I had fun writing it anyway.

'Twas the night before the first battle of the slave revolt
And all through the camp
Not a sound could be heard
Save the lone watchman’s tramp

The swords had been placed by our sides with great care
In hopes that Saint Sparticus soon would be there
Gaius Claudius Glaber was nestled all snug in his bed
While visions of a consulship danced in his head

And Quintus in his leather balteus and I in my bronze hat
Had just settled down for a pre-sentry duty nap
When from atop Mount Vesuvius there arose such a clatter
I sprang from my mat to see what was the matter

To the outskirts of the encampment I flew in a dash
Peered into the darkness and stood back aghast
The moon shone right out upon the mount’s face
I could tell at a glance something was out of place

For what should appear to my woebegone eyes
But thousands of slaves of immeasurable size.
With a gigantic strong leader all full of such heart
I knew right away that it must be Saint Spart-

More rapid than lions his soldiers they came
And he whistled and shouted and called them by name
"Now Darius! Now Tullius! Now Varius and Max!
On Marcus! On Julius! Show them no pax!

To the base of the volcano which we scaled like a wall
Now surround the camp and destroy them all!"
And just like that time the Barbarians came
And completely destroyed us and put us to shame

So down the sheer rock face his soldiers they flew
Complete with strong weapons and St. Sparticus too!
And in a twinkling I heard in the camp
The sudden cessation of the lone watchman’s tramp

As I drew in my head and was turning around
In my tent St. Sparticus came with a bound
He was dressed all in fur form his head to his foot
And his armor was tarnished by mountain ashes and soot

A gigantic shield he had slung ‘crosst his back
He looked like a lion, eying me for a snack
His eyes how they glittered, his teeth how terrifying
I fell to my knees cause I didn’t feel like dying

His brow was furrowed to a perpetual frown
And he sneered as I cowered upon the ground.
“Fear not” he intoned in a voice quite inspiring,
“And rise from the ground on which you are writhing!”

“For I see by your dress that you are a slave
My army will spare you, though you’re not very brave.”
Those clipped rough shod words, though they wounded my pride
Caused me to laugh because now I wouldn’t die

He spoke no more words and returned to his work
He walked right up to Glabus and murdered the jerk.
And laying his hands on the rest of the Romans
The yelps of surprise outnumbered the groanin’s

He sprang to his horse, to his men gave a call
And they followed him cheering our recent downfall
But I heard him exclaim as he rode out of sight
“You’ll never forget the Thracian this night!”

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