Paradise Among the Ruins

A young boy and girl
in humble shepherd frocks
dance together, all aswirl
among mossy stones, the crumbling rocks
of an ancient castle fallen long ago
to a mysterious cataclysm
when beloved ally became hated foe,
either side destroyed by a fateful schism.
The boy and the girl dance, hand in hand,
where the king once held his court,
his word the law of the land—
fair and prudent and without retort.
But the echoes of his baritone voice
no longer vibrate in wisdom here,
nor the instruments of his choice—
neither bugle or lyre or rattling spear.
The songs that sound so softly now
are giggles and childish sighs,
nor does cold gold weigh upon a brow
or sparkling jewel ensorcell eyes.
Dancing lightsome, pure, and free,
the girl and boy know no shame
in the shadows of toppled history—
they know not that dead king’s name.