What is the price, and what are the costs,
of the ransom I'll someday crave?
If I don't pay the piper, I'll surely be lost
and I'll stay an imperfect slave.
'A slave to what?' I heard you laugh,
'you're not in cold chains, I can see!',
yet that at which you choose to scoff
is hardened steel to me.
I have drifted across the face of the deep,
like a rudderless, shiftless vessel,
sure to create fresh promises to keep -
- and nourish one more with the devil.
I cannot expect a loving embrace
when the final reckoning's counted,
only wishing to stand, steadfast in grace,
in spite of the rules that I've flouted.
I've glanced once or twice at redemption -
- like everyone here I have sinned;
though it's never bestowed as salvation,
nor once the candle-light's dimmed.
In the cursèd tracks of my youth,
when The Blues were just 'call and response,'
to me they were more like 'three chords, and the truth,'
when the real truth was far and beyond.
So let slip with the clear-eyed Norsemen
any dreams of the slate wiped clean,
because no Apocalyptic Horsemen
could restore my soul, or my being.