October 16, 2015 by phicks2012
When we meet someone new, a potential new friend, and extend a hand in friendship, we seldom expect that the hand will eventually be bitten. We want to believe that a permanent friendship will be born, and that years in the future we will feel secure in knowing that this other person will still be standing beside us, sharing laughter, and tears, and simple friendship.
Unfortunately, this is too often not the case in our modern world. People too often drift apart, or are pulled apart by life or by death, and we are saddened by loss. Loss is painful, but when the other person very simply betrays our trust then that causes a very different sort of pain.
We feel like fools for having trusted them to share whatever portion of our lives we granted them in friendship — knowing in retrospect that they never deserved that trust. Betrayers use what we’ve shared to hurt us.They slide their knives in while we are not looking, and poison our wells, and strangle our ability to trust. Sometimes, if they are very good at manipulation, or possess sufficient charisma, they can turn friends against us or, God forbid, us against friends before anyone figures out what they’re up to.
The Nineth Circle of Hell is supposedly reserved for the treacherous: those who betray one who is close to them (i.e. a friend, a relative, a lover, or a country). I write poetry for a variety of reasons, and this (admittedly bitter) verse is dedicated to those people.
I hope some will enjoy it, but that they (the ones still around) will not.
“The Ninth Circle”
In frozen penance, may they lie
Who falsely take a proffered hand,
And with deceiving smile and eye
Make mockery of those who stand
In friendship virtuous and true,
And rise in justice to demand
That oaths be honored, vows seen through;
Those chivalry may understand.
Folk who with frigid heart betray,
Shall then be frozen in their turn,
To pass eternity away
From warming fires and ne’er return
To where the hearths by love are warmed,
Where rest the worthy who did earn
Their Paradise. They lie deformed
By their own infamy interned.
Light not a candle that might bring
A fleeting warmth to those below
The bitter surface, glimmering,
But holding firm those long ago
Or recently consigned, to fast
Be held in rime and lasting woe,
Until in pain they come at last
The error of their sins to know.
Freeze on, ye of betraying heart,
Who never once in honor stood,
Nor rose to play a noble part,
And in your malice never would.
Freeze on, and lie in frozen pain,
Ye who deserve no greater good,
And never walk the world again,
Nor e’er defile a sunlit wood.
[14 September, 2015]