He hadn’t meant to fall asleep–
The watchman had stood steady through the night
Waiting for the morning, waiting for the morning,
And for the king’s coming at the trumpet sound.
The night was cold, and his enemies many, so
He set his heels into the rock to stand his ground.
But who, of course, watches the watchman?
And the clouds came and veiled the moon,
Still waiting for her lover’s return,
And the watchman squinted for the stars,
And the night grew longer, the hours ticking by–
And he still stood like a remembering stone.
But the next thing he knew, he snapped awake
To the cries: “The king is here!”
And he looked down from the walls to see the surrounding
City burning, light and heat incarnate,
And he felt a hand on his shoulder, and a voice:
“My boy, why couldn’t you stay awake for me one hour?”
And he covered his eyes in shame.
And the king replied, “Don’t you know
That I neither slumber nor sleep?
Rise: I defeated your enemies in the night.”
And it was only then that the watchman saw
His master’s hands covered in scars.