No children sleep in Sippar now,
No vessels ride her harbour fair;
No footstep sounds on street or stair,
For all lies turned beneath death's plow.

When Kolder to rich Sippar came,
They drank its life, then stole the cup,
And when the demon-time was up,
An empty city cried its blame.

'Tis said the city twice was slain,
First with the sword, then with the mind;
By warfare of unclean kind
The unsouled walked its streets again.

Another death did Sippar die,
When Simon Tregarth struck the blow
That laid the power-wielder low,
Then unlife settled with a sigh.

The corpses lay in silent speech,
Slaves from bodies freed at last
To bury with them all that passed;
No more to fight, no more beseech.

No ship now comes to Sippar's quay,
For none will step upon her shore
Though time has shattered every door,
The bravest let her shadows be.

© A.C. Crispin, Andre Norton
"Songsmith"

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