In the country (somewhere) is a field
That isn't really used for anything.
It's home to several apple tress (which stand
As remnants of an orchard-used-to-be).
Beneath the smallest tree (still sizable)
Reclines a beggar with an empty jug.
He gazes at the branches overhead,
Then gives his old straw hat a gentle tug
To pull it down in front of weary eyes,
Now bloodshot from excess of alcohol.
His troubled gaze betrays his many years
Like wells of sorrow; heavy eyelids fall.
And this is what he dreams:
Many men with swords and axes
Running to the thick of battle;
There he is among the soldiers,
On the other side.
He and his companions few are
Armed with sticks and clubs and valor.
Death is certain, reasons formless,
All are braced to die.
But look! From up above the clamor
Something comes to help the helpless
Something shapeless like the ocean
Comes to save the feeble men.
Like a shadow, like a liquid,
Like a monstrous waterfall,
Savior of the self-reliant
Falls upon the heroes, all.
Who oppose them stand in wonder,
None yet understand their plight.
All they see is men enshrouded
In a terrible veil of night.
Then sudden, forceful, from the darkness
Spring the men who it received
Eyes they have of raging fury,
Full of strength, their power freed.
Twice as fast as any mortal,
Half as strong as any god.
Enemies are full retreating,
Leaving weapons on the sod.
Quickly he leaps up to get his bearings,
For never has he dreamt so strange a dream.
He gazes at the empty jug in wonderment,
Then slowly this old beggar starts to beam.
"Now where did I?" he muses as he recollects,
"I do believe it's Willie Johnson's brew.
I might do well to pick me up some more of that.
I think that's just exactly what I'll do."
He lifts his jug and makes his way to Willie's house,
And purchases some "fine, home-brewed whiskey."
Then, with his jug in hand he picks his way again,
To sleep the day away beneath his tree.