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He lived above the land in terraced tower
A prince by birth where most were but a pawn
He took his lessons at the school of power
And roamed the winding maze of Babylon

And they told him that the moon had turned to scarlet
And they said the sun had darkened at his birth
The favored firstborn to the age's harlot:
The Antichrist who must destroy the earth.

With his destined foe
The war must soon begin
And it must be so
No matter what he willed
That they both must fight
For only one could win
Black or white, kill or be killed --
For every prophecy must be fulfilled.

Long years he watched the skies for his arrival
A Healer King who would the world unite
And raised a force against his fated rival
A horde of black to slay the Lord of Light

Then on his dark horse riding out to slaughter
As silver trumpets echoed from on high
And stars rained down into the blazing water
He thundered out his challenge to the sky

But silent fell the fountain
And none came to oppose him
No echo from the mountain
And dark the stars that chose him
The combat raged around his rasping breath
And yet the only foe he saw -- was Death.

                       ***

He threw his sword into the lake of fire
Dismissed the army, bade the battle cease
Fair flowers blossomed in the blackened mire
The mountain waste became a land of peace

He called the crowds in through the great gates streaming
Laid down his crown and left his gilded throne;
Green grew the vineyards round the cities gleaming
A realm where love and justice ruled alone.

The years passed and he couldn't help but ponder
On why his adversary never came
And to the Sybil's cave resolved to wander
To see his face and know the strange man's name

She led him in and to his story listened
Into the glassy waters bid him stare
He gazed in as the mystic fountain glistened
And saw his own reflection mirrored there.

With his destined foe
The war must soon begin
And it must be so
No matter what he willed
That they both must fight
For only one could win
Black or white, kill or be killed --
For every prophecy must be fulfilled.

Background on An Advent Canticle:

In December 2012, I wrote a series of 25 poems in total (one for each day of December 1-24, plus a Prelude) and posted each one here on Daily Kos as I completed it. The poems dealt with common Christmas themes, as well as with issues highly relevant to Daily Kos readers: commercialism, climate change, and interfaith dialogue, among others. The wonderful feedback and support I received from Kossacks was a big part of what kept me going throughout this project!

It was suggested that I repost them on Daily Kos as a yearly event, and after some thought, I've decided to do so. (If you want to read them all, they're archived here; scroll down to the bottom.) Enjoy!

Originally posted to Green Canticle on Mon Dec 23, 2013 at 08:12 PM PST.

Also republished by Street Prophets .

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