Still was the night before the fight Loud were the horns of warning Deep were our sighs and dark the eyes

That met ours in the morning

The fight’s to begin, and what’s to be said?
The sky is melting an orange-red
The host now hovers, a haunting gray
Our throats constrict, lest we might pray

O shield Thou not Thy face!

Cold was the night before the fight Warm was the sun-soaked dawning Bright was the lance that broke our trance

And tore the veil of morning

The fight’s to begin; men straddle their steeds
I know they’ll be hacked down like weeds!
My words feel dry, my tongue like clay
What hope can I give? What more can I say?

O shield Thou not Thy face!

Strong was the will of Man to kill But Woman’s will was strongest Clear was her choice and clear her voice

That screamed our war-cry longest

The fight’s to begin – who is that fair lad
With hair the color of coastal sand
And eyes like frozen ocean spray…
Where have I seen him before today?

O help me place that face!

Hard rode the steeds at break-neck speed Galloping down the valley Taught were the bows pulled back by our foes

And wood-cuts marked their tally

The fight has begun, and what’s to be done?
Our tears have like a river run
Our prayers are like the salt that stings
Carried up on broken wings

O shield Thou not Thy face!

Long was the night before the fight Short was the red-hued dawning Keen was the sword and keen the word

That pierced the mist-cloaked morning

The fight is hard-pressed; what’s left unto me?
My soul is tossed like the wine-dark sea
My breath like a sob, my heart like a drum
My mind still pleads without my tongue

O shield Thou not Thy face!

Hard was the night before the fight Liquid the golden dawning Hard was the fight before the flight

Which splintered their ranks that morning

By darkest of deaths…the lad is a lass!
Her eyes as searing as ocean glass
Her voice is pure, her sword is clean
The light reflecting casts a sheen

Upon my bloodied face…

Quiet the dusk and gold the rust That once had glowed in the dawning But the witch king is dead; his life-wound runs red

As crimson as early morning

The battle is over, but when ends the war?
I ask upon the plain of gore
The touch of my kin; the lass is a queen
I know the brown leaves will turn green

And we will see Thy face…

Avellina Balestri (aka Rosaria Marie) is one of the founding members and the Editor-in-Chief of The Fellowship of the King, a literary magazine with a strong Tolkienite influence (which, by the way, is open to submissions). She reads and writes extensively, and eagerly seeks out the deeper spiritual significance of popular fandoms such as The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, Star Trek, Star Wars, and The Hunger Games. And yes, she does have a soft spot in her heart for classic Disney movies, The Princess Bride, and Merlin 😉 She is also a recording artist, singing traditional folk songs and her own compositions as well as playing the penny whistle and bodhran drum. She draws her inspiration from the Ultimate Love and Source of Creativity, and hopes to share that love and creativity with others.