Songs of War: Earth -03-

Song for My Departed Brother

(Alternate Titles: Song to a Fallen Soldier; To My Brother)
[Origin: Earth Kingdom, circa Avatar Roku]

My brother has gone before me.
Alone, he entered the West Gate.

In the forecourt lies his armor,
against the postern rests his sword.
Upon the sill-stone his helm sits,
under the lintel, his boots stand.

These needless things, he discarded.
Alone, I gathered them.

Archivist's Note: The provenance of Song for My Departed Brother has been a subject of fierce debate between scholars of both the Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom. Both sides of the most recent War claim "ownership" of this anonymous memorial poem that became an unofficial elegy for soldiers, no matter what nation they claimed allegiance to.

The first appearance of the song in print was in Ran Yan's anthology Treatise of Odes, Ancient and Modern, which would support the Fire Nation claim if not for Ran Yan's forthright notation that the poem had been "collected from a carved memorial tablet" in the "land of Wǎn" and that he was "aggrieved" that the anonymous poet had "likely expired at the hands of [his] countrymen."

See: Treatise of Odes, Ancient and Modern(1st Edition); Man; Fire Nation; Avatar Aang (disappearance of); Poetry; Anthology; Author: Ran Yan.

Subsequent editions of the anthology removed the scholar's notation.

Finder's Note: That the scholar Ran Yan specified "a carved memorial tablet" in the Earth Kingdom recently conquered by the Fire Nation indicates that the original poet was from the former instead of the latter. For the sake of the accuracy of the records within this archive, this stone was sought out and discovered within a small cemetery high in the Dong-nan Mountains – a site and practice after the traditions of that region. It is thus this finder's conclusion that this song be correctly recorded in the Earth Kingdom archives.

A/N: Ever hear the saying, "History is written by the victors"? ;)