A Tale of Two Archers

Here is an old poem from my undergrad days. Not the best, but it is one of my favorites.

A Tale of Two Archers
by Ryan Clevenger

One bright morning, with the rising of the sun
Great archers have gathered—a tourney begun!
Then at their stations, each archer made ready,
In order to win one needs arms steady.

Now, the bows bent back, such a sight to espy,
When loud signal horn blew, great arrows did fly!
Descending on targets—a bull’s eye, a miss!
(The winner awaited fair maidens kiss).

The tourney continued ‘til there were but two,
Given such worship for what knights are due.
But, lo! there arose, twixt them a dispute,
So enraged they were that no one would shoot.

The King then stood and did cry a command,
That each archer continue, least they be damned.
“But, Sire,” said one, “this other doth speak
That arrow ne’er hits the way that we think!”

“’Tis true,” said the other, “this is what I hold,
That reason would prove, if I dare be so bold,
To travel a length half way and half more,
—continue to listen, please, I implore—

“When the arrow doth travel straight through the air
It can only ever be half its way there.
Take a number and divide it by half,
Continue on so and you’ll start to laugh.

For then thou wilt see none e’er can reach zero
(Go right on and try to be thou the hero)
But as for me, I do now rest my case,
To think arrow hit be a fool’s mistake.”

To this the King did give a consenting sigh
“He is right, you know.  Oh, how foolish am I!
With knowledge so new, this tourney is done,
Go back to your homes, the winner is none.”

“Please wait, O, my King,” the first man was shouting,
“Give ear to my cause o’er this cynics doubting!
His reason is sound, and this is all right,
But what of faith and trust beyond mere sight?

I know what I see, though my senses may fail,
Therefore, I must but trust and let faith prevail.
Lo! reason is good, but not all the way,
For faith doth finish, what reason didst lay.”

The King then did pause and considered at length,
Of the living by faith, and not by ones strength.
Yet, the first man’s plea, though strong as it was,
Suffered not reasons calculable cause.

And again, with a sigh, the King did consent
What reason proved not, to the fire it went!
“I cannot allow what reason can’t see,
For in doing so a fool I would be.”

Tourney was over; the sun would retire,
But in the first man, there kindled a fire!
He spoke to fair maiden, “I will not miss.”
Then he delivered loves faithful first kiss.

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