The Young Hero

The young Hero was foolish
to act with such relish
in his own power.

He did not stop to think
of mercy because his mind
was set on justice.

It was the old Villain,
in his death, who taught
him his foolish ways.

He whispered to the Hero
as he died: I would
have granted you mercy.

/ / /

This poem was written in response to a prompt at Three Word Wednesday: foolish, mercy, relish.

8 thoughts on “The Young Hero

  1. Richard ~
    On first reading, that last stanza stole my breath…and then I re-read the piece several times. The last stanza had the same effect with each reading. What a time to learn such a hard lesson! I’m a big fan of your work, Richard…this is one of my favorites!


  2. Paula, thank you so much. I really struggled with that last stanza. A lot of my poems get posted pretty much as the first drafts that they are, but this one sat for a few days, and I wasn’t happy with my original ending, so I reworked it a bit. Thanks again for the kind and thoughtful comments.



  3. Richard, what I loved most about this poem was that, even though I myself had done the 3WW prompt, those words did not jump out at me. In other words, this poem was not forced to accommodate certain words for the sake of inclusion. The lesson was clear, I treasure the fact that the villain taught the hero a valuable lesson, just before death.

    This begs the question: What is the nature of heroism and villainy? Crisp writing with thoughtful lessons. Thank you for this. I love your work. Amy
    I meditated on the “creation” prompt at We Write Poems:


    • Amy, thanks for that. I try to incorporate the words into the body of the poem seamlessly. I really want it to be a poem and not just an exercise. Heroism and villainy are tricky concepts, aren’t they. I’ll be checking out your “creation” poem after I get mine written; I have a lot of catching up to do.



  4. Move over Aesop. Not only do you tell a story with a moral, you do it in verse. The twist in the last stanza makes this one of your best; worthy of any poetry award one wishes to bestow. The Young Hero is truly an amazing piece of work.


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