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.