THE DEATH OF CONWYNN THE WILD-EYED



THE DEATH OF CONWYNN THE WILD-EYED, by Colin Heintze:

The coals are burning weak and low
even now they cease to glow
so come sit for a spell
I have a story to be told
and it might just do you well
to escape this winter cold

You in the back who’s talking so
an elder speaks, you whipersnap
I’ll beat you blacker than a crow
so shut your gods-cursed trap
and listen to the tale of woe
of Conwynn the Wild-Eyed

He came from the North, mighty-thewed
many limbs and heads he’d hewed
and many foes dispatched
the number of men he’d slain
just matched
by the wenches with he’d lain

His stalwart shoulders spanned the berth
of Corriscan, the golden hall
his stride could cover half the earth
his shout blow like a freezing squall
on a field of battle birthed
was Conwynn the Wild-Eyed

He traveled o’er exotic lands
on camel-driven caravans
in hosts of sell-swords, grim and mailed
and corsair galleys black and dread
to many unknown ports he sailed
never neath a hearth to rest his head

One fell day within a glade
he spied a winding stair
high buttresses and palisades
he knew a conjuror’s lair
unsheathing Mag, his favored blade
went Conwynn the wild-eyed

There in back, yapping pup
I thought I told you to shut up
indolent youth, without a care
there’s more to life than fun and play
he’d kill you with a single stare
were Conwynn here today

At the gate he slew a beast
and smote it to the ground
he scaled the walls, though barbed and greased
to where its master could be found
a small, dark man from the East
ill-met to Conwynn the Wild-Eyed

Why have you come? the small man sighed
to take your life, Conwynn replied
for stealing women from their beds
and corrupting noble kings
the conjuror simply shook his head
saying I’ve never done such things

care not for a coward’s pleading
your voice is snide
your words misleading
Mag hungers ever at my side
anxious for the feeding
said Conwynn the Wild-Eyed

The wizard now roused to anger
said you assault a perfect stranger
and dishonor his good name
see now what the future holds
for foolish men that coarsely claim
themselves gallant and bold

The floor beneath Conwynn’s boots
became as smoke, and down he fell
lower than the World Tree’s roots
deeper than the stygian hells
with devils howling in pursuit
went Conwynn the Wild-Eyed

He saw the throne he’d one day win
the chamber that hence wherein
he’d heap his treasure-horde
the nobles once so proud and blithe
cut down by his sword
like wheat before the scythe

Time moved forward, and he saw
himself upon the pyre
the nobles wept and hurrahed
as he was eaten by the fire
them throwing oil on the straw
the end of Conwynn the Wild-Eyed

His eyeless face watched in thrall
his hard-won kingdom rise and fall
to somber legions sallying forth
trussed they were in furs and skins
snarling raiders from the North
no different than he’d been

Time flowed ever faster then
new kingdoms bloomed and grew
only to be razed again
the cycle begun anew
petty are the works of men
realized Conwynn the Wild-Eyed

Conwynn felt his body rise
he shook his head, blinked his eyes
and found himself restored
the wizard looking on him sadly
and uttering the words
we are but droplets in the sea

I see that you are growing bored
you few who still remain
at risk of being more ignored
I’ll finish my refrain
and tell the doom of that great lord
Conwynn the Wild-Eyed

Conwynn raced in panicked flight
forsaking thoughts of treasure
Mag he sold that very night
for it could bring him no more pleasure
when the greatest deeds time will rewrite
despaired Conwynn the Wild-eyed

Now iron shods his horse’s hoof
he lays his head neath hearth and roof
while baleful hands sow corn and flax
the face of Death upon his brow
from not the bloody battle-axe
but the farmer’s plough

Dead, dead, is Conwynn the Wild-Eyed!
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