Sestina for Faramir


Though youthful for a Captain, in spite of your age
You knew how to bring out the fighters of quality
Gathered them around, you governed beast and men;
No doubts to touch their hearts, no fear however small
That you would ever lead them astray, no question
Ever shadowing their hearts to wonder at your honor.

You were ever eager to bring your father great honor
Though he withheld his pleasure, even in old age.
He sent, and you obeyed him without any question,
Seeking for his nod, his approval of the quality
Of defense you commanded, however small;
If he would only commend you before men.

Well versed in knowledge and study unlike other men
Attentive, you gave the elderly Pilgrim great honor
As his wise tales and instruction brought no small
Glory to the past. You knew the echoes of  Numenor's age
And also the ways of the hearts of men, the quality
Of their achievements.  He always welcomed your question.

But now before you stood a puzzling, desperate question
Embodied in three strangers, two now before your men.
Of their lineage you were unsure but they had a quality
About them that you recognized as honorable to honor.
The world yet held many secrets especially in this Age
And you knew one now stood before you, however small.

To your own shelter, though hospitality lay small,
You brought them to rest, and offered many a question;
Found the secret they carried would end an Age.
Truth-speakers, you say, you and also your men:
No lies would stand under your gaze. With honor
You were able to show your very best quality.

Their gangling companion was questionable in quality
But thier determination was greater than stature small
Would cause you to expect. With the greatest honor
You let them go, giving them provisions without question.
You knew the battle would not be won by might of men
But only by their stealth could there be any hope for this Age.

Stature is no measure for honor, nor lineage for quality.
At the end of your own Age, when hope seemed so small
And out of the question, truth could still be found in some men.


    A. Buckles / '03