Friday, March 23, 2012

77. The Last Crusades

The pope and the people
Rallied for more crusades.
Rulers left their lands.
Frederick, the Emperor.
Leopold, the Austrian.
Richard, the Lion Heart.
An insult caused a rift
Between the Austrian and Lion Heart.
The Lion Heart was captured.
Held for ransom.
The lion’s heart broke
Mourning the loss of a friend turned enemy.
“I would sell London,”
He whispered in his shackles,
“If I could find a suitable purchaser.”
The Emperor drowned
Harassing the Roman son.
The cause that the urban on preached
Was lost.
Many people died.
Some at the hands of Christian men
Who did the unspeakable in the name of God.
God wasn’t directing those men.
Greed, pride and prejudice were their leaders.
No one was safe.
Jew and Turk alike were killed.
It was alright as long as they said their prayers and go to church
Anointing themselves in Christ’s waters.
The priests protested.
True believers of the cause tried to do right.
It was no use.
God was no longer on their side.
As knights stole relics from Constantine’s city
“Never,” they said,
“Was so great an enterprise.”
They came because God told them to.
They stayed to get rich.
They crossed themselves with one hand
Pocketing gold with the other
“So everything from common houses to the Church of God.”
“Were filled with men of the enemy.”
“This is an affront to God,”
The pope shouted.
Then he whispered behind his back,
“See if they can wrap it with a nice bow.”
Many still believed in the righteousness of the cause.
Remember the good people who believed in the cause.
Remember the ones who did it for God.
Not for greed.
Still fighting erupted in other places.
Spain reconquered Iberia.
Children tried for the Holy Land
But were captured by pirates.
Danes tried to cleanse their neighbors
Of “heathen” people.
God may not have given them the kingdom
But he did give them something else.
In the end the inner pilgrimage became important.
Remember the lessons learned here.
Otherwise old wounds be opened.

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