The Throwing of the Sword

A deputy came under violent attack the other day, but was saved by an armed citizen who stepped in and shot his assailant. Of course, the firearm used to save the deputy was seized as evidence. Presumably it will be returned when the investigation is complete.

A local gun store has given him another gun so he need not be unarmed.

I told you that story so that I could recite a bit from one of my favorite poems.
For Colan had not bow nor sling,
On a lonely sword leaned he,
Like Arthur on Excalibur
In the battle by the sea.

To his great gold ear-ring Harold
Tugged back the feathered tail,
And swift had sprung the arrow,
But swifter sprang the Gael.

Whirling the one sword round his head,
A great wheel in the sun,
He sent it splendid through the sky,
Flying before the shaft could fly--
It smote Earl Harold over the eye,
And blood began to run.

Colan stood bare and weaponless,
Earl Harold, as in pain,
Strove for a smile, put hand to head,
Stumbled and suddenly fell dead;
And the small white daisies all waxed red
With blood out of his brain.

And all at that marvel of the sword,
Cast like a stone to slay,
Cried out. Said Alfred: "Who would see
Signs, must give all things. Verily
Man shall not taste of victory
Till he throws his sword away."

Then Alfred, prince of England,
And all the Christian earls,
Unhooked their swords and held them up,
Each offered to Colan, like a cup
Of chrysolite and pearls.

And the King said, "Do thou take my sword
Who have done this deed of fire,
For this is the manner of Christian men,
Whether of steel or priestly pen,
That they cast their hearts out of their ken
To get their heart's desire.

"And whether ye swear a hive of monks,
Or one fair wife to friend,
This is the manner of Christian men,
That their oath endures the end.

"For love, our Lord, at the end of the world,
Sits a red horse like a throne,
With a brazen helm and an iron bow,
But one arrow alone.

"Love with the shield of the Broken Heart
Ever his bow doth bend,
With a single shaft for a single prize,
And the ultimate bolt that parts and flies
Comes with a thunder of split skies,
And a sound of souls that rend.

"So shall you earn a king's sword,
Who cast your sword away."
And the King took, with a random eye,
A rude axe from a hind hard by
And turned him to the fray.

For the swords of the Earls of Daneland
Flamed round the fallen lord.
The first blood woke the trumpet-tune,
As in monk's rhyme or wizard's rune,
Beginneth the battle of Ethandune
With the throwing of the sword.


Assistant Village Idiot said...

Have you read the Prydain Chronicles, a children's series? It fits here.

Grim said...

I haven't. What age children?

Ymar Sakar said...

The refrain I often hear is "Obey the police" or else you might get shot.

How does that square with the reality that the Police only operates by consent and allowance of the citizens and the militia? Since the hierarchy is in reality inverted, it is the police unions who should obey the civilians, not the other way around.

Since humans are broken, their organizations are set into conflict, and they end up slaughtering each other due to disagreements. Typical.

Tom said...

Not to tie everything to the recent elections, but in a way voting for Trump was throwing the sword. It was the great "What do we have to lose?" vote.