Ode to Tosasth

Following is the text of an ancient elven text found in Lady Galmire’s library in Tosasth.


Your people cry with profane delight, Talanashta!
Your life renewed with fall of night, Talanashta!
Greed for coin and greed for life,
Your visage brings woe and strife.
From Haderex your power comes, Talanashta!
Your wealth adds up in growing sums, Talanashta!

The stream of sorrow once you crossed, Talanashta!
Only your worthless soul was lost, Talanashta!
In Tosasth you reign supreme,
A golden dreadful demon queen.
O! Drink from my crimson cup, Talanashta!
Drink from me and raise me up, Talanashta!

Elmyra Nerijyre’s Warning

You can never win them back, never! never! 
Though they perish on the track of your endeavor,
Though their corpses strew the earth
That smiled upon their birth,
And blood pollutes each hearthstone forever!

They have risen, to a man stern and fearless. 
Of your curses and your banter they are careless.
Every hand is on its knife.
Every bow is primed for strife. 
Every palm contains a life high and peerless.

You have no such blood as theirs for the shedding,
In the veins of cavaliers was its heading. 
You have no such stately men
In your dank dwarven den, 
To march through foe and fen, 
nothing dreading. 

They may fall before the fire of your legions, 
Paid in gold for murderous hire—bought allegiance.
But for every drop you shed,
You shall leave a mound of dead, 
And the vultures shall be fed in our regions. 

But the battle to the strong is not given, 
While the Judge of right and wrong sits in heaven.
And the goddess Sheebalb still
Guides each pebble by Her will. 
There are giants yet to kill—wrongs unshriven.

Imra Herrel

Lord Herrel dwelt among the poor
West of Tosasth’s central road. 
And on his ebon mansion door,
An elven knight on steed bestrode.

The smooth stone walls were painted red
To remember foes’ blood that spilt.
On moonless night an oath was said.
The lotus bloom may never wilt.

Round butcher’s lane where hovels squat
His mansion reaches for the sky.
While starving toilers beg without
He rests well knowing he’ll never die.

Shut the Book

Shut the Book!  We must open another!
O Elven Brothers! lf taught by the past, 
Beware, when thou choosest a brother, 
With what ally thy fortunes are cast!

Beware of all foreign alliance,
Of their pleadings and pleasings beware.
Better meet the old snake with defiance, 
Than find in his charming a snare!

The Oath of Penelo Elixidor

In the galaxy of nations,
A nation's flag unfurled, 
Transcending in its martial pride 
The nations of the world. 

Though born of war, baptized in blood, 
Yet mighty from the time, 
Like fabled phoenix, forth she stood— 
Dismembered, yet sublime. 

And braver heart, and bolder hand, 
Ne'er formed a fabric fair 
As elven wisdom can command, 
And elven valor rear. 

Though kingdoms scorn to own her sway, 
Or recognize her birth, 
The land blood-bought for Liberty 
Will reign supreme on earth.


Nay, keep the sword which once we gave, 
A token of our trust in thee; 
The steel is true, the blade is keen— 
False as thou art it cannot be. 

We hailed thee as our glorious chief, 
With laurel-wreaths we bound thy brow; 
Thy name then thrilled from tongue to tongue: 
In whispers hushed we breathe it now. 

Yes, keep it till thy dying day; 
Momentous ever let it be, 
Of a great treasure once possessed— 
A people's love now lost to thee. 

Thy mother will not bow her head; 
She bares her bosom to thee now; 
But may the bright steel fail to wound— 
It is more merciful than thou. 

And ere thou strik'st the fatal blow, 
Thousands of sons of this fair land 
Will rise, and, in their anger just, 
Will stay the rash act of thy hand. 

And when in terror thou shalt hear 
Thy murderous deeds of vengeance cry 
And feel the weight of thy great crime, 
Then fall upon thy sword and die. 

Those aged locks I’ll not reproach, 
Although upon a traitor's brow; 
We've looked with reverence on them once, 
We'll try and not revile them now. 

But her true sons and daughters pray, 
That ere thy day of reckoning be, 
Thy ingrate heart may feel the pain 
To know thy mother once more free.


Let the trumpet shout Once more, Wysaphyra!
Let the battle-thunders roar, Wysaphyra!
And again by yonder sea, 
Let the swords of all the free 
Leap forth to fight with thee, Wysaphyra!

Old Tosasth loves thy name, Wysaphyra!
Grim Ophin guards thy fame, Wysaphyra!
Oh! first in Freedom's fight!
Oh! steadfast in the right! 
Oh! brave and holy knight! Wysaphyra!

Chindrorth with his host, Wysaphyra!
Encamps by yonder coast, Wysaphyra!
And the Demon's might shall quail, 
And the Dragon's terrors fail, 
Were he trebly clad in mail, Wysaphyra!

Not a leaf shall fall away, Wysaphyra!
From the laurel won to-day, Wysaphyra!
While the ocean breezes blow, 
While the billows lapse and flow
O'er the dwarven bones below, Wysaphyra!

Let the trumpet shout once more, Wysaphyra!
Let the battle-thunders roar, Wysaphyra!
From the centre to the shore,
From the sea to the land's core
Thrills the echo, evermore, Wysaphyra!

The Lone Sentry

'Twas in the dying of the day, 
The darkness grew so still.
The drowsy pipe of evening birds 
Was hushed upon the hill.
Athwart the shadows of the vale 
Slumbered the men of might, 
And one lone sentry paced his rounds, 
To watch the camp that night. 

A grave and solemn elf was he, 
With deep and sombre brow.
The dreamful eyes seemed hoarding up 
Some unaccomplished vow. 
The wistful glance peered o'er the plains 
Beneath the starry light— 
And with the murmured name of Ghot, 
He watched the camp that night. 

The Future opened unto him 
Its grand and awful scroll: 
Tosasth and the valley march 
Came heaving o'er his soul— 
Tirdeg and Argarid thundered by 
With that tremendous fight 
Which gave him to the angel hosts 
Who watched the camp that night. 

We mourn for him who died for us, 
With one resistless moan. 
While in the realm of Haderax 
He marches to the Throne! 
He kept the faith of elves and saints 
Sublime, and pure, and bright— 
He sleeps—and all is well with him 
Who watched the camp that night. 

Brothers! the midnight of the cause 
Is shrouded in our fate. 
The demon dwarves pollute our halls 
With fire, lust and hate. 
Be strong—be valiant—be assured— 
Strike home for heaven and right! 
The soul of Jonamor stalks abroad, 
And guards the camp to-night!

Tirdeg and Argarid

Doraggour, master of beasts,
Held two dragons by a leash.
He drove them at our kin.

Scales of white wore Argarid.
Scars displayed the evil he did.
His soul was stained with sin.

Blue wings spread across the sky,
As Tirdeg’s bolts brought death on high.
We scattered like autumn leaves.

Blue and white, white and blue,
The twins of slaughter’s menace grew.
We grasped the thread that fate unweaves.

Back in your hole, foul Doraggour!
Drag your beasts behind to cower!
The bell of Haderax marks the hour.


Friend of the thoughtful mind and gentle heart beneath the citron-tree
Deep calling to my soul's profounder deep I hear the Innisris Sea.
While through the night rides in the spectral surf along the spectral sands,
And all the air vibrates, as if from harps touched by phantasmal hands.
Bright in the moon the red pomegranate flowers lean to the yucca's bells,
While with her chrism of dew, sad midnight fills the milk-white asphodels.
Watching all night—as I have done before—I count the stars that set,
Each writing on my soul some memory deep of pleasure or regret;
Till, wild with heart-break, toward the East I turn, waiting for dawn of day; —
And chanting sea, and asphodel and star are faded, all, away.
Only within my trembling, trembling hands—brought unto me by thee—
I clasp these beautiful and fragile things, bright sea-weeds from the sea,
Fair bloom the flowers beneath these Northern skies, pure shine the stars by night,
And grandly sing the grand Hazzic waves in thunder-throated might.
But, as the sea-shell in her chambers keeps the murmur of the sea,
So the deep-echoing memories of my home will not depart from me.
Prone on the page they lie, these gentle things! as I have seen them cast
Like a drowned woman's hair, along the beach, when storms were over-past.
Prone, like mine own affections, cast ashore in Battle's storm and blight.
Would they had died, like sea-weeds! Pray forgive me, but I must weep to-night.
Tell me again, of Summer fields made fair by Spring's precursing plough.
Of joyful reapers, gathering tear-sown harvests— talk to me, will you?—now!

Weep Not

O! weep not for the dead,
Whose blood, for freedom shed,
Is hallowed evermore.
Who on the battle-field
Could die—but never yield!
Oh, bemoan them never more—
They live immortal in their gore

Oh, what is it to die
Midst shouts of victory,
Our rights and homes defending!
Oh what were fame and life
Gained in that basest strife
For tyrants' power contending,
Our country's bosom rending!