(Pssst…In case you missed the first part, you can start from HERE)
XI. The Forge
For months, they raised the smithy walls, the roof and furnace made,
And gathered iron rods and bars of proper strength and grade.
The prophet said, “Convert these, now, to something that will fit
Your chosen purpose and your needs. Your life depends on it.
“The spear must reach beneath the waves to pierce the Kraken’s hide.
The handle must be stout enough, the spearhead sharp and wide.
Now make it long and tempered well before you go to sleep.
You’ll need a shaft that’s straight and strong and arms to drive it deep.
“Tomorrow, we will take the first and put it to the test,
And if all goes accordingly, I’ll have you make the rest.”
The bellows breathed. The furnace roared. The pounding hammer rang
As if beneath its heavy blows the glowing metal sang,
And when the blade with water had been tempered properly,
The finished work, in grim detail, was quite a sight to see.
To punctuate this night of toil, there dawned a morning clear.
Hours later, in the sunlight, Galen proudly showed his spear.
His mentor nodded thoughtfully as one who understands.
He checked the balance of the spear and turned it in his hands.
“What you have made is good,” he said. “It has a killing feel
And, for the pain within you heart, capacity to heal.
“As I have said to you before, you’ll need some more to take.
Observe the pattern carefully, and faithful copies make.”
So Galen labored patiently and set his fury loose
In fashioning sufficient spears and practicing their use.
He held each to the anvil as his hammer sang its song,
And as he built this arsenal, his arms grew thick and strong.
When sun was down, the hour befell to rectify his mind
And listen to his teacher to discern what he might find.
Rehearsing lessons written down by help of candlelight,
He lay in bed to contemplate the stillness of the night.
In righteousness, he thought to pay the grudges that he bore,
Smiled at the Kraken’s ignorance of what he had in store.
His days repeated in this way till one night he surmised
There was a solitary fact by which he’d been surprised.
In finding satisfaction with the things his hands had made,
He found he could appreciate his father’s chosen trade.
His labor substituted for a hunter’s vanity,
Each blow was struck to hammer out the past’s insanity.
With sweating brow, he put behind the sting of youthful sin
And filled his heart with humble pride, a blacksmith once again.