METTLE, by Scott Matthews:

This climb must be my ending quest,
glory paves the road behind.
My trek onto this mountain peak,
the last hill left to climb.

Temptations many did I slake
and oft’ my way was woe.
That I might pass through yonder gate
I’ve bested every foe.

There came a time I was put down,
face flat against cruel earth,
but red blood sang in a valiant heart,
to the battle I returned.

Sigar’s bronze with sinew strong
had slashed its way to bone,
but dark his eyes fell at my stroke
and bid me, be not long.

The cold is deep, but I can see
Frost’s daughter dancing past.
No maiden’s smile, nor leg, beguile
my feet from off this path.

Entrance to this higher realm,
I release this life to pace.
The mist of many a hero’s breath
escort me to my place.

My hands will warm, my sword will rest
at the hearth of near Valhalla.
My breastplate’s art will shine once more
in that Hall with all my fathers’.

Scott Matthews has been a participant in poetry chatrooms and has presented poetry on line since 1990. He has published previously with Poetworks Press and Whilmington Blues.

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