June 14, 2019 by phicks2012
I write poetry, and occasionally dip poetically into the far past — especially when a verse I thought long lost to a computer crash turns up unexpectedly.
This verse was written way back in August of A.S. XXIII (1988) for one of the earliest issues of The Equinox (the monthly newsletter for the SCA Shire of Sol Haven), and was rediscovered when I started going through the physical (paper) issues in the archives.
In any case, I hope some will enjoy it.
A Lady Waiting
In misting dawn, bright plumed, my lord road forth,
His maille a-glint with veiled day’s promised light.
Emblazoned shield held proudly, from the north,
From out the deep-walled keep, and from my sight
He rode. Bold was the hand upon his sheathéd blade,
And tall upon his steed of deathless gold
He raised his banners to the shrouded skies,
And I wept not, although my heart grew cold
With aching. Pride, and pain, and secret sighs
Will be my lot long after glories fade.
In glowing morn, proud helmed, my lord rode on,
Mid pomp and pageantry to Holy War.
To follow after glory, and God’s Son
He rode, with piety to seek a pagan shore.
Yea, many a bard struck many a rousing chord!
To free Jerusalem from heathen brood
He rode, with right, and mailled might, and song,
And hand upon his sword. I understood,
And wept not, for my lord was sure and strong,
And riding ‘neath the banner of the Lord.
In blazing day, uncloaked, my lordly knight
Did gaze upon an unforgiving land
Of seering winds, and sultry nights, and rites
Of pagan heritage, and shifting, soulless sands.
And there he joined in battle, sword unsheathed
‘Gainst flashing scimitar and roundel shield,
While Saracens, swift-mounted and bright-scaled,
Rode to their own Lord’s call, and would not yield.
Yet I wept not, with eyes no mystery veiled,
But saw my lord with victory’s laurel wreathed.
In endless afternoon my lord fought on
To wrest the Holy Land from pagan might.
Though flowed the land with blood ere he was done,
For Christendom fought he, and deemed it right
To slay the heathen, claiming ancient sod.
Bold armies of the Cross, with faith and trust
In Christ and in Jehovah left their marks
Upon a different soil, and felt it just
To ply their razored steel in crimson arcs,
And slay the children of another God.
In deathless dust my lord did lift his head
To gaze upon Jerusalem, and sigh,
And raise his banners o’er the mouldering dead,
While pious prayers and hymns rose to the sky.
Death sings its own songs, and the souls of men
May hover long where fiercely battle raged,
And eyeless weep where blameless blood was spilled.
So too do victors’ memories, slowly aged
And mellowed, linger on the weeping, stilled
By time, and death, and brandished bodikin.
On evening’s velvet breast my lord returned,
‘Neath starlit skies, beneath a waning moon
He rode, seeking the home for which his spirit yearned.
His hand was heavy on the sword where rune
And Holy symbol vied to guard and prove.
And I, from my tower, saw his pride and pain,
And wept, yes, both with joy and sorrow then
To hear the bards raise valorous refrain.
For man will weep, and yet make war again,
And woman’s tears may not an empire move.
[August 2nd, A.S. XXIII, 1988]