(Or Lament Of An F.F.B.)
Discontented sat the Princess on her golden chair.
Then they brought a traveler in. She sat up with a stare.
“Tell me,” she beseeched the traveler, radiant of face.
“Tell me of your bitter journey back to this, your place.”
Wistfully she listened to the tales poured in her ear.
“Tell me of your joy,” she begged, “now that you’ve made it here!”
Shifting shadows played upon her features as he spoke
And when he’d done, she murmured in a voice that sadly broke.
“Not for me the frozen march across the windswept waste
Nor the bliss of seizing what so very long I’ve chased!
Here I sit in cozy splendor, fed from silver spoons.
Not for me the lonely baying under silver moons;
“Not for me exquisite warming at a newfound fire
Soaring up on brand-new wings, high and ever higher;
How I envy you, dear traveler, fresh from wind and frost
Hugging to yourself the joy of finding what you’ve lost!
“Never will I stand upon a long-awaited shore
Knowing that I’ve reached at last the home I’d left before.
An uncut diamond, how you’ve worked to free your inner glow!
Something I – a gem in a velvet box- will never know.”
The traveler seemed astonished, his brow creased in thought.
“You’ve never known real cold, it’s true, although you think you ought.
The freezing trek is strange to you, the ice that takes its toll –
But Princess, have you never felt a chill upon the soul?
“You haven’t hunted wary miles, of that I will be bound.
But tell me, have you never strained to gain a little ground?
And have you never felt the longing, just as I have done,
To draw a little closer to the Ineffable One?
“You’ve never felt the bliss of toasting at a newborn flame
But Princess, doesn’t aged fire warm you just the same?
Soaring high on brand-new wings is what you yearn to do
But don’t you know the joy already? Haven’t you flown, too?
“Finding something that was lost is splendid, I’ll admit,
But you, dear Princess, haven’t known the pain of losing it!
Coming home is quite a thrill, back from a distant shore –
But don’t you feel the same, each time you step inside your door?”
The Princess bowed her lovely head, “How right you are!” she cried.
“The way you feel today is how I’ve always felt inside.
I have always known and cherished that which you’ve just found.
We two are but a pair of jewels adorning the same Crown.
“In my quiet way I’ve made my journeys, just like you
And if your tales are more exciting – mine are special, too.
Two travelers are we, indeed, for no one stands quite still:
We both are striding down one road, to satisfy one Will.”