December 11, 2015 by phicks2012
The vast majority of the members of the SCA know perfectly well that the Middle Ages were not idyllic times. There was ignorance, and disease, and intolerance, and chivalry was not always extended to folk of perceived lower social status. People died young, and often of ailments we would today consider to be minor. Rulers were not always noble, nor were Knights and Ladies, but it was a simpler time with clearer rules.
Art and craftsmanship were created by hand, requiring talent and skill. Things were meant to last. Structures of great and lasting beauty were erected. Styles in clothing and armor didn’t change every ten minutes, and fabrics were natural. Manners were more well-defined, and good and evil seemed more clearly delineated.
Nothing is, of course, ever as simple as it seems when human beings are involved, but our lives today, in the modern world, tend to be stressful and complex, and rife with ambiguity. As a result, many of us hunger for a way of life when things were more straightforward, and less confusing — when, just maybe, the truth was a less maliable comodity and people were more noble.
The verse below was written, with this in mind, for use in my monthly SCA newsletter, The Equinox, and I hope that some will enjoy it.
Come along with me to a nobler time
That may ne’er have quite existed,
When the songs we sung had a gentler rhyme
And the meads were morning misted,
Wearing cloaks of gray o’er a vendant gown,
Dancing merrily at waking,
Where the banners flew and a golden crown
Rode in battle, legends waking.
Come along with me to a golden realm
Where a noble dream goes walking
Where a titled knight wears a silvered helm,
And the Ladies fair go hawking
With a kestrel perched on a silken arm
And where honor gives no quarter;
Where the banners lift on a sudden storm
And no King will honor barter.
Come along with me to a place of dreams,
That arise from our believing
In a world where honor is what it seems
In the fables we are weaving.
In our fantasies of a surer truth
We aspire to something better,
And walk taller then both in age and youth
Where no chains our dreams may fetter.
[24 November, A.S. L, 2015]