I Beg of Them

Friends of old, I beg of them to speak their reason,
When fair verdicts from a loving heart are naught.
They triumph and drink and for them 'tis no treason;
Whilst, in my prison, I wallow to gift an honest thought.
My heart partakes in usury and silent grief.
What marvels is of theirs I can no longer tell.
Much for myself I grieve; for them still more.
Companions whom I loved, and still do love today.
Their burdens were a sigil I had proudly wore;
They called my name when graveled by the fray.
They know this well who are now proud and strong;
That away from them on hostile clay I strain.
They loved me well, but have not loved me long.
To their eyes and hearts, I have revoked my claim.
No harm shall come to them if I fester or die,
Yet, I am burdened, if by minor ills they cry.
Tell them, my verse, that they are friends untrue.
That I speak not this to reproach,
But choose good remembrance through and through.

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