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The Golden Goblet

An old nomad in the desert
Carries his estate in his hands;
A burdensome and worn satchel
And his holy golden chalice.

From a land far off does he stray,
Condemned to eternal exile.
Once a venerable sultan,
Now a pitiful vagabond.

Expelled from his eminent throne
And bereft of his majesty,
He wanders now with but a sack
And beloved aureate flask.

He once quaffed the nectar of kings
In the company of princes,
And he would display his goblet
Ornamented in arrogance.

And now, it is all that remains
Of days long lost and forgotten,
And so he cherishes it most
Of all his meager possessions.

He lifts the chalice to his lips
Wishing to return home but once.
He tilts back his head with the cup,
And readies to taste the sweet wine.

And while he pours it to his mouth,
He falls with the chalice in hand.
A cough, a choke, and then he dies
From drinking nothing but hot sand.

The earth has taken her revenge,
Or perhaps the power above,
Upon a corrupted old man
Whose wealth and power were his love.

-Ari Gilder, 10/31/01

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