The Siren & The King

Many ages ago, in a distant land without snow
A humid seaside nation where traders would go
Seeking pearls for their wives, mothers, and daughters
Or weapons and tools for their trips on the water

There reigned a powerful bronze-skinned King
Draped in gold-plated robes and royal rings
He ruled over his citizens with true compassion
Yet his conquering style was quite old-fashioned

He was known to capture land with little care
For the societies and people already living there
He justified his actions, which were often labeled cruel
Claiming kings do what they must for those they rule

The King was a possessor of genuine wealth 
And his citizens lived in prosperous health
The trading brought valuable gems and gold
Prophecies foretold, and legends of old

And one day, a trader arrived with word of something unusual
On his voyage to this land, he heard hints a song most beautiful
He had taken a different route, and sailed through uncharted seas
And his ears caught a sound so sweet, it was difficult to believe

It was just a brief moment, perhaps a trick of the high winds
But it sounded like the longing lustful tune of a siren
An inhuman woman who sings forbidden enchanted notes
Luring travelers toward her island, and capsizing their sailboats

The King himself, whose name was Vano, took a special interest
In this tale of a woman living amongst the waves and fishes
A solitary beauty singing out solemnly to the seas
So lonely that her lovely voice dissipated in the breeze

The trader warned King Vano not to investigate the sound
For the siren would want no more than his jewels and crown
But men do foolish things for love, and King Vano did not listen
He set sail on the sea, wearing robes and rings that glistened

He steered his little boat
Toward the alleged island
Swimming or afloat
He would soon find the siren
Basking in the glow
Of the low-hanging sun
And each wave he rowed
With anticipation

Surely enough
He heard the siren’s song
The waters were rough
But her sweet notes were long
She hummed a tune
So gorgeous and perfect
It made flowers bloom
The King did not deserve it

The song was quite sad
And yet joyful at once
Lonesome only a tad
And lovely on all fronts
The melody was young
Enticing and delightful
Every word she sung
Sounded honest, not spiteful

It felt truthful, not tricky
Though it was surely a ruse
The King sailed in a jiffy
Through the sea’s greens and blues
Until the tides parted
And in Vano’s sight
Was the island she guarded
He smiled with delight

A siren named Zira stood on the land singing
Curious what treasure this traveler was bringing
But when Vano came around, and she saw his crown
She knew this encounter was just the beginning

Zira sung the last notes of her alluring song
Then mercifully let the King sail along
Rather than lead him to death and steal what was left
She said “Come near, it seems your trip was long”

The King parked his boat and stepped foot on the sand
Zira greeted Vano, and welcomed him to the land
He replied with a “Thanks”, surprised he hadn’t sank
Then attempted to seduce her like a typical man

Zira had heard all of his words before
His silly attraction tactics were a bore
But she pretended to care, for she was aware
That wherever that crown came from, there was more

She studied the emeralds and rubies the King so boldly boasted
Perhaps he might share some with a woman he deemed devoted
After all, he had come this far in the desperate pursuit of love
So he may go even further if he received what he’d dreamt of

So Zira let the lonely King grow comfortable and acquainted
A false picture of innocence she meticulously painted
She stroked his beard and combed his hair and sang songs to the seas
And told the King he could stay and listen as long as he pleased

Soon, Vano kissed the lips that sung those enchanting tunes
And the two of them were entwined until the sun became the moon
When morning came, King Vano asked “This isn’t the end, is it?”
And Zira replied “So long as you bring gold when next you visit”

He left behind some gems and rings as a promise to soon return
And as he stepped onto his boat, thanked her for all he had learned
Vano said he now viewed love and life in a completely new way
And he wished to spend with this dear siren the rest of his days

The King did not lie
The very next day
He returned with buckets of gold
He said “If love I must buy,
Then tell me what to pay,
For my life without you is too cold”

Zira took the riches
Put on a fake smile
Pretending to care not for wealth
Then they began their kisses
And loved for a while
Deeper into their lust they delved

This routine continued
Nearly every day
The King was scarcely in his palace
He told Zira “Within you
Is all that I crave
I just see no hatred or malice”

She felt a tinge of guilt
Knowing her own nature
And asked why Vano was so desperate
“Why bring me all you’ve built
I must ask, did you hate your
Life before this day in the present?”

Vano breathed a sad sigh, even more lonely than Zira’s song
As he spoke, he could not look her in the eye for very long
He told her once he’d fallen in love with a beautiful Queen
The two of them had ruled their land in a harmony like dreams

Until his beloved wife met an untimely demise
He watched as the life force had left her ocean eyes
He watched as the woman who gave him love no gold could buy
Was tortured by unspeakable pain until she died

For the first time in eternity, Zira felt empathy for a man
She had never known such loss, but she managed to understand
The King was willing to accept such an insincere love
Because he had already felt one that none could ever be above

King Vano had accepted that the remainder of his royal life
Would be spent with a devious siren, rather than a loyal wife
Even if he knew Zira cared not for him, but for his gold
He would take the dishonesty over lacking a hand to hold

It was then and there
Zira took his strong hand
And she truthfully shared
“I’m not with the wrong man,
For other sailors come
Hoping they will see
A mermaid or some
Woman other than me

But your love is real
The absolute purest
You came here to feel
You are no foolish tourist
You came here knowing
I am filled with greed
You could have kept going
When I first let you leave

But you returned
Just about every day
And deeply I’ve yearned
To place lips on your face
And perhaps it’s true
We both have selfish goals
But I think it’s you
Who’ll break me from my mold

So stop bringing me gold
Stop bringing me jewels
Let’s not do what we’re told
We must do like fools
Move on from your loss
I’ll abandon my past
And let’s just get lost
In this true love at last”

King Vano agreed with the sad siren’s sentiments
He knew as she spoke how truly she meant every bit
He agreed to her pledge to love for all of time
And shed their old wounds, leaving their pasts behind

The siren and King stood up on the sand
They locked longing eyes and interlocked hands
Then they moved into a lovely embrace
Zira felt all at once her life fall into place

Perhaps she was not destined to sing forever
Surviving off of deeds evil and clever
Perhaps with her lover, she could be renewed
The siren and King could both begin anew

But as she reveled in the choice she’d just made
She felt in her side the cold sting of a blade
King Vano withdrew his sharp sword from her flesh
And watched as her body and spirit regressed

Siren blood dripped
Onto the pale sands
While King Vano gripped
His weapon in one hand
He watched Zira bleed
Clutching her laceration
And explained his need
To kill her for his nation

“I’m sorry, my lover
But you are all that stands
Between any other
Claiming this fertile land
This island is rich
In resources I want
And you are just a witch
Who thought you could daunt

A King who has loved
Hundreds before you
In fact the tale of
My wife was untrue
Yes, the Queen is alive
She’s on her way now
She and I will thrive
On this island without

A creature who sings
In a sweet little voice
And thought I would bring
Some opportune choice
But you were mistaken
Despite all your fussing
Your land has been taken
And to me, you mean nothing”

Zira grew faint in the sand as she lost her blood and her faith
She had been impaled by the first one to ever make her feel safe
She watched as massive ships approached the conquered island to meet
The King whose healthy beautiful Queen was leading the fleet

Feeling slighted, betrayed, and abused, the siren could finally see
The very fate she gave to those sailors she lured from the sea
She felt true remorse, having known brief love before her fall
She could now understand why all those travelers answered her call

But it was too late for amends, of that chance the King had robbed her
Now her frail and lifeless body was at the mercy of the water
The Queen joined her dear King on their newly stolen island
And she looked down condescendingly at the dying siren

Zira’s voice was too weak to reply to the Queen’s foul gaze
But if she could speak, she would’ve said “Beware your husband’s ways”
The reason Zira was now left on her own shores to rot
Was that the siren could change her ways for love, but the King could not

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