July 18, 2014 by phicks2012
Once upon a time in the year 2000 there was a Halloween Costume Party, at which two of my male SCA friends proceeded to get more than mildly intoxicated, thereafter getting into a bragging war (complete with wagers), and eventually declaring that they were going to round up two of my equines in the pitch dark pasture and go horseback riding. As drunk as they were, I figured that just LOOKING for, and trying to catch, the animals in the dead of night might give them time to sober up a bit, so I didn’t try to stop them when they finally located and loaded up the tack and staggered away with it. However, as fate would have it, they actually managed to catch and saddle two of the horses (Whisky and Sonnet), and I probably ought not to have been surprised since the two horses were practically lapdogs. On the other hand, I’m afraid I did not anticipate that one of them would thereafter be ridden into my basement, but there you have it. I ordered horse and rider out, and the two equestrians rode around for a while, fortunately sobering up with time, and in the end all was well — except of course that the event simply cried out to be remembered in verse.
What you see below is that verse, and I hope you enjoy it!
“The Midnight Ride”
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of a midnight ride of Lord and Peer
When Hans and Simon braved the night
For wager’s sake when both were tight.
It was, it was, I do believe
The witching hour of Hallow’s Eve,
Right heavily had both imbibed,
The truth with coin cannot be bribed,
And staggered forth where ere they strode
For they did carry quite a load.
Thus spake Lord Hans, with drunken glee
“A wager I would make with thee,
And pray thou take it as a man,
Though thou art drunk and scarce can stand”.
“What wager would you make with me?
I’ll take it on, what ere it be!”
Sir Simon cried. “I’ll prove to you
That I no challenge shall eschew!
So tell to me what task you name,
And I shall rise and garner fame!
Yes, I can do whatever feat
You think to name! I can’t be beat,
For as all know who think aright
I am the best, ’cause I’m a knight!
Yes, I can climb the highest peak,
And swim the sea in but a week;
Ride any horse, fight any war,
And give a hurricane what for!”
So Hans did laugh without remorse
“Then go and seek thee out a horse
And bring it nigh, well saddled too,
That I might see what you can do!”
“I shall” quoth Simon “undertake
This quest, for pride and honor’s sake,
And as you challenge you at least
Shall put a name upon the beast!”
Lord Hans did smile with wayward glee,
“Since you have asked this thing of me
Then so I shall, and feel no shame,
For know that Whisky is his name!”
“No problem that!” Sir Simon cried,
“My cause shall never be denied,
And Sonnet I will bring also
That with me you, Lord Hans, may go,
For I of courage have no lack”,
But when it came to finding tack
Then swore he square and swore he round
For that no bridle could be found.
So looked he high and looked he low,
Mayhap twas for an hour or so,
And lookers on though this was fine.
Perhaps he’d sober up with time.
But finally he forth did stand
A bridle held in either hand,
And saddles two lay at his feet.
So forth they went, cold fear to cheat,
And in the darkness of the field
Found horses two, content to yield.
Then did the guests look up to see
A thing they claimed that ne’er should be,
For through the portals not so tall
Was Whisky urged into the hall.
“Oh, take thee forth!” Then Bronwen cried
“He leaves a gift, and woe betide!”
So Simon rode the beastie forth,
Then he and Hans rode south and north,
And in the night did bravely strive;
Returned still drunk, but still alive.
So thus the legend there was born,
Embroidered on upon the morn,
And long shall stand for who’d deny
We shall not ever let it die?
For Knight and Lord did overcome
The force of Whisky and of Rum.
Thus did the saga then unfold
And now the story, it is told.
October 30th, A.S. XXXV (2000)
By the way, later I was gifted with a very appropriate sign, which I here share, and which hangs in my bar still today: