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William Brand

What Follows

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What follows

Ole Zach's Tavern is dark and silence distills upon the green
but for the roosters sounding ever and the waves echoing
will the spirits speak of us now as we did in our short turn of them
our less than solemn musings in anthems of rum condemn
where is the string plucked that filled the batteries with living sound
and the stray voices which taught love and loss by song aloud
where hang the jacks above the canvas which marked the wind
and the lovers caged in handfastings of death twinned
can you hear the laugh of mortals in their cups and company
speak of deeds done and errands all bound up in infamy
and taste clever lies we seasoned stories with to give such savor
that every tale was longer made and longer shared with favor
while favors of another cloth were clothed in shadow
clandestine meetings by darkness sought or with the tallow
and friendships made by firesides and elbows bent
survive the silence which now stills once merriment
for the cannon call has rolled away discharged anon
with those carriages that bore them hence all come and gone
and only embers in the ash remain which speak of nights that were
till fires are fanned of such cinders left to some future stir
to blaze in our imagination as they did by hammer and powder both
in that invasion of our wills our worth and our unspoken oath

-William Brand

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aah... Our Quartermaster is indeed a learned man.


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