Take Heed

Alone I stand upon a cliff.
Eyes wand’ring o’er the ocean’s drift;
I ponder long on legends great,
E’er ancient kingdoms met their fate.

For long ago, long since forgot,
Fair men of old faced fiery dart
‘Mid battle tumult, standing tall
Til war was won and dragon fall.

Alas! Their sons remembered not,
Nor cared to think of kindred lost,
But rather stopped their ears and said,
“For mine alone I’ll win my bread”.

And so the ancient lands would fall,
Their children conquered, brought to thrall,
Deposed, destroyed, crushed into dust
By their own selfish, wanton lusts.

Thus, as I stand above the shore
And muse upon the tales of yore,
I fear for many of my kin
Who follow swift those former men.

Let not desire take hold your heart
For kingly gain or sovereign’s part,
Lest blind you turn away your gaze
And meet demise e’er break of day.

For from such shade is little hope
To break aside that filthy yoke:
So guard your hearts and steel your souls
To overcome the mortal foe.

About this poem

Learn from the past to secure the future

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Written on August 20, 2019

Submitted by Dirhaval on February 03, 2022

Modified on May 03, 2023

1:02 min read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,015
Words 209
Stanzas 7
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

Shelby Minick

Shelby grew up reading from a young age and was encouraged to try her hand at different writing styles throughout her schooling years. She began writing poetry several years ago, and her influences are such poets as Tennyson, Longfellow, Kipling, and Tolkien, to name a few. more…

All Shelby Minick poems | Shelby Minick Books

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Discuss the poem "Take Heed" with the community...

  • luisestable1
    Behind the all fantastic language, this poem seems to be giving advice. It tells a marvelous story. One should admire the choice of words and the good rhyme-scheme. The poem reads like a short tale.
    LikeReply5 months ago
  • mattd.04593
    I liked this poem very much. It reads like fantasy. thank you for putting it up. We always need more great poets out there.
    LikeReply 15 months ago
  • lovingempath
    I'm always enthralled by poets who can actually capture the brine of the old languages and bring stories to life. I felt carried away by the tempo and ultimate message of your poem. Bravo!.
    LikeReply 15 months ago
  • Philipo
    The last line of the third stanza is what I am witnessing among my people here. To 'your tent o Israel' kind of living that we are not known for before. I have just learned things I have forgotten from reading your work. I am converted. Fine work here. 
    LikeReply 15 months ago
  • EtiquetteLearner
    i believe the phrase, it's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it...applies for sovereign part. of course, i can see the seriousness in your tone, and i think this expression of concern is definitely worth the medal that you have earned by it.
    LikeReply 15 months ago
  • rnadc
    Nice work. Thematically consistent and strong...
    LikeReply1 year ago
  • Journey
    A worthy winner of 1st place a beautiful constructed tale set in rhythmic Rhyme and great visuals
    A pleasure to read
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • Soulwriter
    Epic indeed. I hear echoes of Tolkien in your work. A good read.
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • lacematurin
    Absolutely beautiful.
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • Poetbird
    Shelby I'm amazed that you understand that man's conquests are futile. Most people continue to fight for a dream. They are never real. Your wording is fabulous and your knowledge is wonderful in all your phrases. I'm a bit of a rhymer myself so I didn't like the last word of the poem not rhyming but it was an excellent poem. Well done! I hope more people educate themselves on a subject as well as you did this one. Trevor 
    LikeReply 41 year ago
  • BradyB999
    Wonderful piece
    LikeReply 31 year ago
  • rbennis
    Nice structure, the allegory to modern events remind me of how history is forgotten and repeated cruelly.
    LikeReply 31 year ago
  • abielias1
    The world you have created is so strong I can see it vividly. Congratulations on your well-deserved win!
    LikeReply 21 year ago
  • urladee21
    Beautiful poem, congrats on winning
    LikeReply 41 year ago


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"Take Heed" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Oct. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/122050/take-heed>.

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