Ian Stewart Black

Modern master of classical poetry

Month: January, 2016

Ballads Of The Free

Oh proud and noble soul,
How wretched thou art now:
For all thy labours’ toll,
The sweat upon thy brow;
Thy blood adorned the field
Where saints and tyrants fought,
When others sought to yield
To those who honoured naught;
When courage fell to woe,
And sorrows drowned in wine,
The ember still aglow
With righteous wrath was thine;
Thy battle-wearied might
Upheld the lashing sword,
That enemies of right
May reap a just reward;
Unflinching in the hail
Of clashing steel and cries,
For honour to prevail
And order to arise.

And such would be thy fame
If death had claimed thee then,
The last to bear thy name –
To see thy like again;
Oh, were it not that age
Or apathy had worn
The legend from the page
Thy legacy had borne;
Had circumstance instead
Conspired to make of thee
A martyr, ever wed
With ballads of the free;
For death is not so cruel
As living in decay,
A disimpassioned fool
Who bled for yesterday;
Enduring, cold and grim,
To see beyond return
Thy noble spirit dim,
And all thou fought for burn.


An Open Letter

To whom it may concern,

Unwarranted assaults on common sense and decency do not endear your vitriolic slurs to anyone, nor fault a liberal perspective citing more than fear; and while at times I revel in profanity as anyone is wont to do, it seems a strange foundation for a treatise on humanity, while coupled with a verve that borders on deranged. It’s not for me to question your intelligence, but arguing that I have ‘over-thought’ provokes a singular disdain: the basest arrogance decrees that reason is the foe of truth.

Invoke your prejudiced decrees, and seek to denigrate my character; aghast, I wonder what provokes the kindness in the heart of man to dissipate. Compassion, were it ever there, was cast aside for rank entitlement; entitled to be heard, entitled to be unopposed and to deride, entitled to be chief among the baying herd.

Regretfully, and yet with satisfaction, I have little more to say but this: as you dismissed the sum of my consideration, qualified to overrule by spite alone, and still persist without a counterpoint to any case I’ve made; so certain of your own superiority that reasoned arguments could never stay your blade:
Go fuck yourself.

Regards, the calm majority.