A Tragedy Well Composed by Deborah Landers
Tragedy well composed resolves in black,
A gradient from triumph to despair.
The hero falls from grace through trials great
While villains rise to steal prosperity.
There lies no great balance in this, the turn
Of Fortune's tide, and lies do well become
The liars on this weighted scale. No more
May honest men conspire for good; they break
From honesty to walk the path of lies
That liars set before their errant feet.
Where vict'ry once was found, they'll find no more
And merchants of their death do gather round
To cast their lot against the hero's pride
To take his life. No villain born did plot
By halves, nor did they leave their scheming ways
To chance. With every stroke, the hero's sin
Lays bare before the men it most offends,
For villains know that heroes cannot die
While yet their virtue lives. Ideals cloud
The flaws of mortal men and honor hides
The weaknesses of flesh. Man must be killed
First by degrees, stripped of that armor bright
That men no more may hold him in esteem.
Feed heroes poison from the mouths of friends
And sicken him with doubt. Perhaps through fear
His path may stray, and honor may be killed.
To such great men brought low, their death is kind.
Oblivion is mercy to the weak
And slaughtered souls that cling no more to life.
A hero thus destroyed finds love in death,
A vict'ry of poor kind yet well composed,
And tragedy resolves in deepest black.