Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
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Flash Fiction
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Lament for the House of Arender

by Joshua Hampton

I have the greatest grief to tell,
With swell of tears I sing it now,
Of how those in my house were lost,
At cost too grave to ponder.
Lo, my lord and son have gone,
The Dawn has failed them, so I weep,
They sleep now under oak and ore,
No more the land to wander.

Across my house a storm it swept,
And crept with purposes of ill,
A chill it brought of spite and spleen,
Unseen till then by any.
And when the tempest thunder rolled,
It told of wrath without remorse,
A course with wake of bitter tune,
That soon was heard by many.

The thrush have since lost love of song,
Along with luster of their plume,
For doom has left them wary still,
Of thrill the notes can carry.
And ever more our Kingdom’s bowed,
In shroud of black we bind our dead,
And red with blood the river runs,
Our sons and lords to bury.

Never more their mouths shall speak,
Nor seek with their own eyes of blue,
For rue and woe their ends begat,
By that my life is measured.
I joy no more at harp’s relief,
Full grief is mine that such should pass,
Alas! here ends my pedigree,
To me none more was treasured.

© 2010 Joshua Hampton

By day Josh Hampton is a mild-mannered associate creative director at an advertising agency. By night he's a Robert E. Howard wannabe who finds his muse in everything from Anglo-Saxon epic poetry to French New Wave cinema. His work as a professional writer has been featured in countless publications and media outlets across the country, while his fantasy writing has been featured in Heroic Fantasy Quarterly. He's also a featured writer for the English football club Chelsea’s stateside newsletter. His website can be found at www.JoshuaHampton.com

Find more by Joshua Hampton in the Author Index.

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