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May 1, 2014

My friends, what can I say? You stand before
me now more beautiful than words have weight
to properly express. What can I say?
What can I say to tell you of my grief?
To speak the inner turmoil of my heart?
What can I say to set in you the fires
that represent the pride and strength of all
this kingdom stands for? O my children, hear
your people chant for you! This time is yours!
Do not allow the ignorant to draw
your path, but seize what now is offered you—
this place, these eyes, this heart within my chest—
all this is yours. You are the hope on which
this island rides, the kings and queens of souls.
I look upon you now and feel your strength
lift up my arms, your power lifts my voice.
Your destiny is forged before your eyes—
take up the blacksmith’s hammer, form the steel
yourself—let not your parents strike the blows,
let not your teachers douse the coals, but pump
the bellows, bend the steel, and shape the blade
with your two hands. What can I say but this:
your sacrifice should be your own, your life
should be your own. Believe in that, and see
the kingdom live for you; my children, I
shall live for you. My friends, I’ll die for you.
Take hold your fate and show your parents what’s
worth fighting for—reveal to them this truth:
your lives will forge a peace; their deaths will end
your lives. Rebellion must end, for all
of us. My friends, the future’s yours to win!
Take up the hammer, strike a blow against
the tide of war and strive for lasting peace—
your fates are yours, your hopes are all of ours.
My loyal friends, what can I say but this?

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