I remember a ruby crown,
By mischief set alight,
Perilously burning down
On your tresses of night.
A leap, a splash, and wounded pride;
Such memories I had.
I know that you were beautiful;
I knew all girls were mad.
What I lost, at last regained,
But only these of worth:
Your smile when you said my name,
And the land that gave me birth.
Cruel truth remaining to be faced,
Demons to be fought,
But a moment with you: there is peace,
And pain can be forgot.
I did naught to deserve this life,
And the debt must be paid;
The land in flames of war and strife;
Her pain must be allayed.
My pride, my safety, and my throne;
These I could deplore,
But how could I leave thee alone
Loved I not honour more.
When I've fought for love of country
And died for love of friends,
Maybe I'll then be worthy
With you to make amends.
As the lightning fades I'm praying
To be again with thee,
And we are children playing
Under an apple tree.