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To raise the Iron Throne

"To raise the Iron Throne" (2000)

1. Prologue
2. Universe, arise !
3. A Night of doleful Farewell...
4. A long Road starts for you from here (The last Nights Sacrifice)
5. The Wave murmured my Name ...
6. Brothers in Arms, Companions mine
7. The Twilight of an Age
8. Behold the Barren Kingdom of the Graves
9. They know not whose the Voice is which they hark ( Stormclouds over the Caucasus)
10. The Reign of the Iron Crown (Epilogue)

1. Prologue

No lyrics

2. Universe, arise !

…and one by one the stars sunk in the dark;
In silence, slowly, worlds withered away.
The cosmos lay as wounded stag when hark
Backwards the dogs once slain they have their prey:

The deer, as before him descends the dark,
Salutes in tears the light of his last day;
When waned in silence his last cosmic spark
The universe bewailed his lot this way.

Alone sat in the middle of that night
A weeping god, the last one who survived,
and mourned his cosmos now dead and forlorn:

Forgotten’d be each tale, each deed and fight.
In tears he stabbed his heart and sacrificed…
And thus a new reality was born.

3. A Night of doleful Farewell...

The house of Kelidon was open
And shone with light and glee:
A thousand guests had gathered there
To celebrate and see.

It was the wedding of Stemènos
Kelidon’s firstborn son,
Who laughing with a cup in hand
Among the friends strode on.

The bride was sitting ‘mong her maids
In flee from people’s sight
A vision was tormenting her
She’d dreamt the foregoing night.
“My friends” moaned she “I fear a dream
Which came to me last night.”

Meanwhile the bridegroom saw one man
Who seemed to wait for him
All clothed in ragged beggar gown
With features pale and dim.

“O stranger guest, o stranger guest,
Although I know not thee
I recognize thy large-brimmed hat
I know you’ve come for me.

O stranger guest, o stranger guest
Whose eyes cast ember’s light
I recognize thy skinny face:
I’ll leave this very night.
I know you not, yet this I say:
I’ll come this very night.”

The silent stranger bade him go,
The young man stepped outside
And whispered through the meek night air
“Farewell, o dear, dear bride…”

4. A long Road starts for you from here (The last Nights Sacrifice)

The old man spoke and told his son
“Today thou shalt kill me:
I’ve read upon the spring’s meek breeze
That thus it has to be.

By the ancient sword you’ll spill my life
Which many a foe once slew,
And afterwards you’ll gird it on
For there’s who waits for you.

In three parts the remains of mine
You’ll cut after I’m dead:
Bury one, the second burn,
The last will lead your tread.
The third piece take along with you,
That may your steps be led.”

“Alas, my father whose eyes blind
See though more than appears,
How can I brandish thine old sword
With sight so dimmed with tears?

How can I leave these mountains which
My green years did behold?
The steps I’ll take this warm spring-night
I’ll take with heart so cold…”

“Sad is our fate, Kedèa, though we
Must stand and hold our heart.
Now come here for a last embrace
For it is time to part.
Come forward now, that I can hug
My son ere I depart.”

The silence burdened like a shroud
When Kèdea left alone,
And followed he the western wind
With soul as heavy as stone.

5. The Wave murmured my Name ...

The silent forest held its breath
As Zadjal slowly walked
And armed with quiver, knife and bow
After his pray he stalked.

The hunter shone with force as does
A young man in his prime,
Proud as an ancient hero from
An old forgotten rhyme.

Of twenty springs he was, though he
Despised both wine and feasts
And in contempt of company
Lived lonely ‘mong the beasts:
Retired inside his woods he led
His life as do the beasts.

Then suddenly the undergrowth
Did rustle from his right
And before his astonished eyes
Revealed a charming sight.

A graceful doe as white as dove
Stepped onwards slowly and meek
She wore a golden tiara and had
Rose daintily colored cheek.

The she-fawn stopped in front of him
And these words uttered she:
“My lad, ahead: for thee they wait
To cross the virgin sea;
My lad, the land awaits for you
That lies beyond the sea.”

“My doe” sighed he “who waits for me?
Whence comes the call you bore?”
But no answer came: the fawn had fled.
He moved his steps ashore.

6. Brothers in Arms, Companions mine

They met on night by the waves wild
And dark of the vast sea.
From far away they came and were
In number but of three.

The first was tall, with curly locks
Of black as raven’s wing,
And sitting on a rock a song
He dismally did sing.

The second looked so young that you
No more than fifteen years
Would say he liveth, and brought with him
An arm that dripped with tears.

The third one was the last to come,
All clothed in furs and skin
With baldrick-wise bow, beautiful
As one of godlike kin.

“Brothers in arms, companions mine,
Whom Fate did gather so,
Our path is clad in thickest mist
And yet we have to go.
What lies ahead we cannot see,
Still bidden we’re to go.”

(One by one the pines would fall
At chops well many and strong,
That the three men a ship could build
To sail the waves along.)

“Brothers in arms, companions mine,
Hold strong yer heart and oar.
Let our farewell as blessing bird
Unto our homelands soar.”
“Farewell, my father…” “Oh!, my spouse…”
“…Ah!, realms of the wild boar…”

7. The Twilight of an Age

A sea was that on which their ship they led
Like a serene expanse of emerald:
Perturbed was not by wind or wave and had
Foam curls by the sunshine woven with gold.
Yet turned the water from grass-green to red
At dusk, when the sky ceased to burn and scald,
And as the pall of night did slowly approach
The shrieks of the gulls sounded like reproach:

“…Why did’st thou hither reach, o mortal stock?
So far you threw yourself…were not enough
For thee the green ad fertile fields, the flock,
The sweetest honey? Why you spilled the laugh
From our mother Sea its gates to unlock?
Why did you ravish her with hand so rough?
Your keel and oar have raped her womb, then we
Shall wail and weep her lost virginity…"

Each night beneath the moon the spirits wailed
While hovering above the silken main,
Accompanying their path as on they sailed:
They cursed the encroachers of their old domain
As many in number their ship slowly trailed.
But would, alas!, atone not for the slain
The Three, for they the fatal plague could know
Not which their ship on the wide seas did blow.

“Farewell, o beloved sea: it’s time to die!”
Sang creatures sadly rising from the wave
As their long necks they waved beneath the sky.
“The seas which were our cradle now our grave
Become. Farewell, our sea!” - Thus they did cry.
“Our age will fade into that of the brave
Humanity, but the warm blood men spill
Does always fall back on the ones who kill.”

8. Behold the Barren Kingdom of the Graves

The seventh day they gained at last the shore,
The shore that lies far other side the sea,
The seventh day, I say, since firstly bore
A wave offences from humanity.
They drew the ship aground on a land sore
That lifeless lay as far as eye could see,
If not for few contorted trees that grew
In mists which smelt like bones and wet mildew.

Hanged to the branches, swinging in the air
Slowly, like thuribles of incense dead,
One thousand sacks of cloth of human hair
A skeleton wrapped up in their grim thread.
In awe the three begun there to wayfare
Among the fruits of such still garden sad.
Where cadavers curled up within their tomb
Like fetuses inside a sterile womb.

Few mossy stones were scattered all around,
In strange signs carved, unknown to the human host,
Surfacing here and there in the wet ground.
Decay and death had set their reign utmost
Upon that somber land where not a sound
Was heard besides the breathing of the coast.
The air was thick and seemed to suck their breath,
As the Three trode upon the land of death.

9. They know not whose the Voice is which they hark ( Stormclouds over the Caucasus)

Against the horizon stood a mountain great
In lightnings crowned as were the kings of yore;
Around its throne raged winds of might and hate
While on its back a stole of frost it bore,
And soared as if to wield the reins of fate
Just like those kings whose deeds live on in lore.
Towards this mount which men now Kazbek call
Moved foot the Three to tread its icy pall.

An olden temple raised by gods now dead
Lay solemnly atop the timeless stone.
Was this where the Three led their stumbling tread:
Where mournful winds sad hymns of frost intone.
The snowy path was stained with scarlet red
As climbed the men, blind-eyed for the sun shone,
All torn and ragged, with frost in brows and beard,
For answering the call they hath once heard.

“They know not whose the voice is which they hark;
Aware are not of where their steps will lead;
Yet they walk on along their path so dark,
Onwards for yielding to the call they heed.”
Thus sung the winds as up the shoulders stark
Of mountain Kazbek rose the mortal seed,
The chosen that, yet why the could not see,
Hath climbed a mount and sailed the virgin sea.

Ten times ten feet rose the gates of gold
And emerald which led towards the shrines
Where secrets older, more than death is old,
Forgotten lay where ice eternal shines,
Where winds cry melodies so grim and cold
And of souls damned the eternal sorrow whines.
Six days took it for the mortals to gain
The top forever scarred by chilling rain.

A mighty throne of gold stood in the hall
And sat on it an iron statue frowned
With scepter in one hand (so great and tall…),
With icy shining eyes, and forehead crowned.
And thus was written on the ancestral wall:
“One by the sun of savage forests browned,
One stained with blood from he who gave him life,
And one who left in tears his maiden wife.”

The sleeping king awakened from his sleep,
One hand removed the ice from his eyes chilled
(Which shone as rubies dark, so grim and deep)
And cried his voice “The prophecy’s fulfilled !”
For an eternal while forgot to weep
The winds, as the ancient walls did shake and thrilled:
Astonished stood the world before the rage
Of the triumphant king of the new age.

There was, after, a fire great and bright,
Which swallowed savagely the olden stones
And crowned with flames the awful, dreadful might
Of He who sends the plague and breaks the bones.
And finally comes forward from the light
An old white man, and chants of bane intones
While holding in his hands the burned remains
Of the first setting sail to cross the mains.

10. The Reign of the Iron Crown (Epilogue)

Like sparks the ashes hideously did glow
As over mountains, far beyond the sea,
Above the land of earth they flew to sow
The seeds of the dark age that would then be.

"O mortal race, your back with toil ye'll bow
On field and furrow, you shall prune the tree,
And will thine progeny 'mong troubles grow,
For ventured tread ye where no man should be."

The sterile ground refused mankind to obey
When not forced by the rape of plough and hoe,
And so the ox whom hardly tamed the yoke.

The flood ravaged their corn and fire their hay.
Both earth and sea did cry aloud their woe
The day when the iron king from sleep awoke.


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