Requiem Æternam

In a secluded corner of the Bayeaux Tapestry

My head lies lonely.

Threads of blood are woven with care from my throat

Winding, serpentine and bright,

Around the loom and through the vacant air

My shoulders once occupied.

My helmet is yet jammed against my skull

(Requiem æternam,

Dona eis Domine;)

The space above me yet cloven

By the hooves of a rearing steed

And a swarm of Norman darts.

And who I was and why I threw my life

Down, down, swallowed down to where the light is rare,

(Et lux perpetua luceat eis.)

I have long since forgotten or cared.

Purpose is lost upon the bleakness of eternity,

And meaning is mortal.

No whispered prayers lulled me to sleep,

Only the screams now charmed into a cloth,

And I am left guided only

By the vague memory of thirst,

So I must try to bless myself into repose.

(Requiescat in pace.)

As I sink slowly into the mud of Hastings field,

My back bent and cracked,

My limbs limp and useless,

A quizzical look frozen into my face,

I can still hear the clamor of battle above,

The screams and cheers. (Domine, Domine)

My nostrils are forever full of smoke,

My mouth overflowing with blood and dirt,

My eyes brimming with blindness,

My hands bursting with emptiness.

So I will drag myself by night across the moors,

Muttering my requiems, soothing my soul.

Amen.