Poem: “The Ones Who Went Before”


The Ones Who Went Before

Past vales deep and mountains steep
Where wild rivers run
Where secrets keep and dragons sleep
Hidden from the sun

There tall stones stand upon the land
Raised in days of yore
A lasting brand and mark for man
From the ones who went before

The ones who made the shining blade
And learned the ancient lore
Who dragons slayed and darkness stayed
By battles won in war

When first there came the dragon bane
With fire in the night
On wing and flame to kill and maim
Men hid themselves in fright

And the dragons savage raved and ravaged
Over the naked land
To crush and kill as they willed
An evil none dared withstand

Then the dark that gnaws at men and laws
Allowed the beasts to reign
And their rending claws and scaly jaws
Ran red with the blood of the slain

From the skies, dark as lies
Shadows of dragon wings
Cast a haze that drove as slaves
Those God made as kings!

Yet in the dark was struck the spark
Of courage that flamed and grew
Like the break of dawn that riding on
Lights the world anew

Until no more to hide or turn aside
And hope the cup would pass
Nor avert their eyes as others died
Men stood to fight at last

From the valor born the blade took form
In the heat of glowing coals
Hammered and formed in the heart of storm
To flash like shining souls

Facing dangers dire from fang and fire
They fought through pain and fear
To win safe sleep in cottage and keep
For those that they held dear

They made seas sing and valleys ring
With the song of clashing steel
And fought to bring the blade’s sting
Across the world on wheel and keel

Hunting the beasts they never ceased
Until the dragons were driven down
And the ancient dread was dead or fled
Into hiding under ground

With victory won the sword was hung
In its place upon the wall
And each bowed his head to honor the dead
Now gathered in heaven’s hall

Then the stones were raised to mark the days
In remembrance evermore
Of the darkness slayed and the price once paid
By the ones who went before

But the sands of time swirl and blind
And weather the graying stone
Till worn away like a passing day
More is lost than known

And tales once told in hall and hold
In time are told no more
Like shadows in shade, memories fade
Of the ones who went before

Salt seas sigh and roll and rise
Washing on the shore
And whispered lies drown the battle cries
Of the ones who went before

Cold winds blow and shadows grow
Over things men know no more
And dark things stalk where once there walked
The ones who went before

The bright day ends and dusk descends
A howling is heard on the height
And stirring again deep in their dens
The dragons await the night

In nightmare dreams of terror screams
Where fire and fang devour
They taste again of the blood of men
And await their coming hour

To break like storm in a raging swarm
Upon the earth once more!
Come that day may all men pray
For the courage that went before

Jake Frost


About Author

Jake Frost is the author of Catholic Dad, (Mostly) Funny Stories of Faith, Family and Fatherhood to Encourage and Inspire, a $0.99 e-book on Amazon. He is a lawyer in hiatus, having temporarily traded diapers for depositions and kitchens for court rooms to care for his pre-school aged children. He comes from a large family in a small town of the Midwest, and lives near the Mississippi River with his wife and kids.