the fighting guardsman

Twas the night before Emperor's Day

Twas the night before Emperor’s Day, and he fought all alone, in a four foot deep trench, lined with plasteel and stone.

I was traveling the warp with gifts for the land, when i saw this lone guardsman making his brave stand.

I looked all about, I looked near and far, no Chimera, no Basilisk, nor Techpriest or Commisar.

No Sergeant yelled orders to the guardsman - no backing to fight this ridge full of xeno form from pure evil, attacking.

His armor in tatters, his eyes nearly blind, A sobering truth raced through my mind.

His position was doomed, was my only thought and this soldier’s brave stand would all be for naught.

 The guardsman stared unblinking, silent and alone, his lasrifle at the ready against his shoulder bone.

His gaze was so calm in the face of calamity, the perfect picture of a guardsman of humanity.

Who was this brave hero whose position I’d spied, warring against this unstoppable tide?

I now knew that all humans I would see this night, owed their lives to these guardsmen who were willing to fight.

Soon all round the galaxy the children would play, and grownups would praise the bright Emperor’s Day.

They all lived their lives every month of the year, Because of brave guardsmen like the on standing here.

A tear came to my eye for those who stood alone, on a cold Emperor’s Day Eve on a planet far from home.

Their great sacrifices I could never betray; So I drew my burning sword to join in the fray.

The soldier did turn and I hear a rough voice: “My Emperor, rest easy- This death is my choice;

I fight for a freedom that may never be found, but not ever shall I waver on Your sacred ground.”

Then the Guardsman turned to face the incursions of the foul xenos and their unholy perversions;

I kept watch for hours, until the night was still and the guardsman lay broken on the bloody red hill.

I could not just leave on the cold grim dark night, this guardian of honor so willing to fight.

And as the guardsman lay dying, his soul strong and pure, he cried: “Ave Imperator! It’s Emperor’s Day! This world is secure!”

I kneeled before the fallen, A great victory he’d won. “Happy Emperor’s Day my guardsman, rest in peace, my son.”