The Errant Knight (Cover by Lord Hraefn mac Thaidg)

The Errant Knight

a book of poems by

Sir Richard Fergus Fitzalan

Baron Glymm Mere

also known as Richard Alan Edwards also known as le Chevalier Joyeaux, le Chevalier sans Favor, et le Chevalier avec couer qui Chant.

House Arkeep Press, c1995



Letters of Light

Anglo-Saxon Verse
Riding Tempest

Symbol Round

La Cuaderna Via
Eyes in Darkened Sky

Petrarchean Sonnet
For the Dancers in Lion's March

Rhymed Couplets
In Hraesvelgr
le Renaissance du le Chevalier Joyeaux
The Squire's Judgement
Thursday Night's Poetry Group

Warms to my Gentle Touch

There are no words

Last Sestina of a Pair
Romance of Chivalry

Shakespearean Sonnet
Are you my lady love?
Fall's Song Too
For Amergin's
Glass Door
Grey Skies
Letters of Light
Around the Mirrored Pool
Morgue Sonnet
Ocean deep
Ping Pong Sonnet
Random Winds
Striking Sparks
To Border Raid in Lion's March

Chivalric Chord

Not a Pushy Knave

30 Second Tanka
Broken Sword
Cool Heat
Summer Breeze

A Truly Loyal Gentle Knight

A Quest par Amour

Fear Becalmed Mind
The Gillyflower of Gold


This book would not have been possible without the inspiration and support of many people. I wish to thank the Thursday Night Poets of Glymm Mere: Cian MacDara, Hraefn mac Thaidhg, and Stergar the Smiling for their friendship, support, and above all, criticism. Without their listening to every version of every poem and every story of every problem and hope that inspired them, I would not have continued to write. My Brother-at-Arms, Master Sir Brand McLiam, has applied corrective strokes where necessary to my poems and my head until I chanted "I am, iamb". Thanks, brother.

Many thanks also to Lady Livia Madeleine Montgomery of Northkeep, Ansteorra who made me steal from William Morris; Her Ladyship Cymbric of the Isles who listened to me recite on the phone; Lord Robert Fitzalan who traded poems with me as we both continue to learn (thanks, brother); Her Ladyship Wynefrid Sealbhach Colquohoun who feasted me with good food and long talks; His Lordship Cai y Cyrn who gifted my chaos with order, and Adriana Capelletti who co-authored our fairypoem and introduced me to Javan.

And just so I don't get fined for any bad puns found herein, consider this to be fair warning that I am a member of the Whimsical Order of the Ailing Wit (W.O.A.W.).

Lastly, and mostly, this small tome is dedicated, as am I, to my lady-love.

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Thursday Nights Poetry Group

written by Cian, Stergar, Hraefn and Richard. Printed with permission.

The Poets' nights are often long,
We play with words until the dawn,
So Thursday nights we gather near
To write our poems which we hold dear,
And cobble rhymes and lyric verse
To make life better, can't be worse,
And share in words our joys and pains
To build sestinas and refrains
Of hope and love of ladies sweet
To be the poets' wine and meat;
Kind thoughts of love which make us sigh,
Then black despair and teary eye;
Of sun and moon our rhymers strum
Like arrow struck, the verses come.
We come well inked and sweetly tongued
As thoughts flow clean in words well strung;
For hours strive for woven tale
And see at times our souls are frail;
Now share compeers so bold in art,
We freely give our truest heart.
Our duty clear, your joy we hope
By twining lines like hempen rope,
And glad are we that we live here
For our beloved is Glymm Mere.

Poem #93, Rhymed Couplets

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These poems are a brief selection from the over one hundred poems I wrote from July 1993 to September 1994 (with one exception from an earlier age). My return to poetry writing began with the publication of the "Ars Poetica Societatis" (APS) pamphlet from the Creative Anachronist pamphlet series (# 67) and my reawakening. In rediscovering things to write about and new methods of writing, I started large numbers of poems in many forms.

The thirty-six poems selected for this book were chosen by several editors and me from the mass. They were then arranged not chronologically, but roughly in an order that hopefully tells a tale. At the bottom of each poem I have noted the number of the poem in my personal catalog and the name of the form as given in the APS. There is a form index at the end.

Some of these poems have already seen print in various SCA newsletters including "The Looking Glass" (Glymm Mere) and "The Mount" (Lion's March). Just in case some chroniclers or editors wish to publish any of these poems, I hereby give permission to do so with the following restrictions : they must be published unedited, and they must include the note : "reprinted by permission from The Errant Knight : a book of poems by Richard A. Edwards (Baron Sir Richard Fitzalan). House Arkeep Press, c1995". I would also appreciate a copy of any publication being sent to me at the address below.

Comments or suggestions are welcomed and appreciated. Please feel free to write to me at 3402 21st CT SE Apt A, Olympia, WA 98501.

Rich Edwards (aka Richard Fitzalan)
December 1994, Olympia, WA
Barony of Glymm Mere, An Tir.

"Not all those who wander are lost" - J.R.R.Tolkien

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The Squire's Judgement

As I was riding out one day,
I think 'twas in the month of May,
Sitting beside an old, gnarled tree
I spied the likes of ladies three.
I rode on to where they were,
Trying not to cause a stir,
When they saw me toward them ride
And hailed me fair and did not hide.
"Good Squire," quoth one and then another,
"Have you perchance a knightly brother
Or know some lord of noble birth
Not given overmuch to mirth
That might for us a contest judge
And til answer given shall not budge."
"My line hails from noble birth
And though I tend to much to mirth
I pledge to sit my horse aright
And stay asaddle into night
Until I solve your problem's cause
Or face the devil's evil jaws."
"Well spoken, gentle Squire," said one,
"Stay thou here til we be done.
See upon that branch of tree
A hanging golden fruit there be.
The apple is the prize we seek
For we be naught but ancient greek.
Through the land it's know we be
Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite.
And as we asked of Paris before,
This question now you must explore.
Who is the fairest in the land?
Place you this apple in her hand.
We ask this of you, gentle Squire,
Answer well or face our ire."
While I pondered what to do
The ladies to me spoke anew.
Hera said, "Good sir, give it to me
And thy name Power it will be.
Such force I shall grant unto you
That you could turn the morning dew
Into knights who follow your banner
Regardless of your excessive manner."
"No, I!" Spoke Athena in fit of rage.
"I can grant you through your age
Victory in battle forever more
Regardless of your tourney score.
and wisdom too I can you give
To hold and have long as you live.
Just name me fairest of the three
And to you kings will bow their knee."
And then did speak the third,
Quiet, and yet clearly heard.
"If you give me the prize tonight,
Women with you will never fight.
All the beauties that you see
Will sleep with you, and for free!
Regardless of your morals low
They will see in you Apollo."
I sat my steed some time in thought,
Wondering if my choice be bought
By one promise, gift or other,
The choices nearly made me smother.
But at last an answer did I see
And pulled the apple from the tree.
"I will not take from you the power,
Nor would I like a king to cower,
And ladies who only fill a bed
Oft have hearts as cold as lead."
And saying so I rode away,
But as I left I turned to say,
"I know a land with raindrops bright
Whose ladies are a true delight,
And to them now I take this fruit
Thus rendering your question moot."
And so I rode off to come here
Among the ladies of An Tir.

Poem #100, Rhymed Couplets

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To Border Raid in Lion's March

by Richard Fitzalan and Adriana Capelletti
printed by permission.

When marching through the edge of Lion's land,
Near where the river Snakes 'tween dusty hill
And darkest fence of stone, where we our stand
Will make against the foe to die or kill,
Do not forget to see with faery eyes
The wondrous beauty, not just rock and chaff.
For after passing Hell's own Gate there lies
The blackened threads of whispery night now trapped
For e'er in fluid time while in the breeze
The golden beads are tossed and nymphs do weave
In grain an incomprehensible frieze
Against the blood-red sky of twilight eve.
'Tis both the lands for which we fight and die
The grave held earth and where our souls will lie.

Poem #107, Shakespearean Sonnet

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For the Dancers in Lion's March

One golden twilight in a garden green
Where dwelled a dozen roses pink of hue,
Far under sparks of white that spun in queue,
They danced to music played by magic means.
That music, softly heard yet clearly seen,
That births new life where e'er it touches true
Gave rise to one who caught, with eyes so blue,
That moment when the earth stands still and clean.

As dancers moved o'er hardened ground in time
And felt their partner's joy as if their own;
Their whirling feet raised clouds of dusty grime
And laughter joined to see the earth be blown
In colored burst whose circling flight did climb
And grow in rainbow stairs toward stars that shown.

Poem #106, Petrarchan Sonnet

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Striking Sparks

  As darkness from the sun at dawn retreats,
  My blindness lifted from my eyes when I, 
  In light of this new glow, by luck did meet, 
  Along this foreign road, a passerby.
    She spoke to me in words so kind and fair 
    That I near fell in love with just her lips, 
    As we together walked from here to there, 
    And wrestled with our thoughts and souls bare stripped. 
  Now in that moment, as when flint meets steel,
  We'll strike our sparks as we first touch and guide 
  The heat to well laid tinder to reveal
  If fire will catch and constant flame provide. 
    With bonfire nights or gentle warming day
    We'll walk the path awhile now come what may. 

Poem #32, Shakespearean Sonnet

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Warms to my Gentle Touch

  My hands do softly brush her skin
  As she warms to my gentle touch; 
  Amazes me does beauty such,
  And sends my mind into a spin. 

  Our time is filled with loud passion
  As close to me I do her clutch,
  My hands do softly brush her skin 
  As she warms to my gentle touch. 

  To hold her causes me to grin,
  I do love her so very much, 
  You wonder who I speak of such? 
  My drum of course, it is no sin, 
  My hands do softly brush her skin 
  As she warms to my gentle touch. 

Poem #47, Rondel

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Not a Pushy Knave

The bright dawn light does bare my soul,
Such vision always takes its toll,
As I perceive you in the glow
Still thinking of the love you know
Reflecting on the thanks you gave
That I not be a pushy knave
But rather did not too much ask
Pleased instead in your words to bask.
Smile I now to see us so well
And wonder how this us befell.
For passion is hard to contain,
Though your gentle hand did restrain
Me from making myself a fool
Sitting beside the sound's own pool.
When we kissed I with pleasure shook
You had opened a raging brook,
But I checked myself, screaming hold
You had asked me to be not bold.
So I put away passion's part,
In conversation answered smart,
For love's desire is manyfold
And our story long should be told.
So one night simply will not do
To fill my need to be with you.
The dawn now causes me to wake,
But this vision it cannot take
Causing me both joy and grief strong
To know that with you I belong
And yet must I bide time alone
Waiting for when I might go home,
And see again your teary eyes;
Hope for our bliss, my only prize.
Poem #39, Tageleid

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There are no words

There are no words with which I can decide
How to express joy at being beside
The vast and sandy Ocean's, wind-swept shore
Spending such time with the one I adore.
Furious and quiet as we confide
Each one in the other as hearts collide.
I reach for you now my words to outpour,
But finding you not as you were before;
There are no words.
It is not easy to find metaphor
For what we have done by opening door
Beyond which the future opens so wide,
Moving this way and that, almost like tide,
And all I can do is be constant for
There are no words.

Poem #48, Rondeaux

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Letters of Light

  Letters of Light 
  In faintest glow I see the dawn in east, 
  Vague dream of darkness ending with the sun, 
  I first hear Venus, herald of the feast, 
  A ray to show that sadness has not won. 
  My own vain hopes rely on words and deeds, 
  On sword of thought and boldest shield of heart, 
  No less will gain, in spite of any needs,
  The Grail, the cup to hold our truest art. 
  Great gifts beyond the horizon now lay 
  On pillows cloudy and on rainy earth; 
  Meets land and sky where together comes day, 
  Ends fear of night, and gives our voice new birth. 
  Rare letters seen in heaven drawn in light,
  Yet spell the soul of lady and her knight. 

Poem #80, Acrostic Shakespearean Sonnet

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30 Second Tanka

Slowly peeling skin
Off the ripe fruit so that the
Juices trickle down
My fingers, sticky and sweet,
Wait eagerly to be licked.

Poem #70, Tanka

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Ocean deep

  Like an ocean deep we together came
  And with stormy passion and quiet grace 
  Led each other through our sorrow and fame 
  Knowing mystery in that time and place. 
    No sea without storm, nor word without deed; 
    No sky without stars, no me without thee. 
    So tightly bound is our fate I concede 
    Where thee and I part I no longer can see. 
  The future's mist rises in front of both, 
  No knowing fate, what will tomorrow bring? 
  But I have delivered my heartfelt oath, 
  And wear as token thy undying ring. 
    The ocean is wide and on it we sail 
    Apart cannot win, together can't fail. 

Poem #8, Shakespearean Sonnet

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Cool heat

Cool shade, lovers' heat;
Lying close while laughing smiles,
Passion and kisses,
Touching both bodies and souls;
Precious moments too soon gone.
Poem #56, Tanka

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Chivalric Chord

On Saturday on field you strode,
And there to all assembled showed
That you could strike with flashing sword,
And ring out a chivalric chord;
To fight with honor in the list,
Though sometimes losing, to persist
In showing us your might and skill
Such trying, striving, and then kill;
And as did they, so too I died,
So swept away with you in pride.

Poem #43, Spruch

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Symbol Round

Sword's band wyrd decided
Dared I bold field with shield
Symbol round of ring borne
Bringing honor to the fore
Fighting hard pressing both
Blade biting, missing rim
Ringing high-nailed helmets
Holding smiling glances
Gaining joyous honor
High struck together die!

Poem #25, Drottkvaett

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Riding Tempest

  Wide waves             Wild storms 
  Far Flinging           Shipbound Fergus 
  Riding Tempest         Ruing nothing 
  Smiling Stands         Facing Stormward 
  Far from shore         Follows fury 
  Lightning leaps        Lighting way 
  Baron braces           Bound to follow 
  Squire races           Struggles to find 
  Lord strides           Laughing gaily 
  Ship's wings raising   Skyward sails! 

Poem #24, Anglo-Saxon Verse

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Romance of Chivalry

We first met on a field of chivalry,
And little did we guess of what fortune
Had for us in store; the growth of passion,
Which has since brought me such bold dreams at night,
But which started with all due courtesy,
As slowly glowed the embers of romance.

We have since then a bold tale of romance
Begun, binding us together in chivalry;
And while remembering the courtesy
Due to others, thankful for such fortune
That allows us to sleep peaceful at night,
And yet still bring to life a bold passion.

Seldom are two so linked in sharp passion
As we who have found such joyous romance;
Where we share, as best we can, our best nights,
Loving in arms and learning chivalry;
Counting our sighs as a valued fortune
Polished ever brighter by courtesy.

Though days there are when blasted courtesy
Ties with iron bonds my hoped for passion,
And I feel robbed of my own good fortune
To see slipping from my hands our romance,
Replaced by bright, but lesser chivalry,
That path we both now tread on day and night.

Perhaps some day I will be belted knight,
And approach you as squire in courtesy,
Train as we walk the path of chivalry;
Sharing with sword and shield such loud passion
Will inspire all who see such romance,
As they envy us our own great fortune.

Our future now leave to God and fortune,
For I can not tell if e'er again night
Will come when we can speak of our romance
Without harming what is in courtesy;
Yet still burns my desire and passion,
And not all my hopes are for chivalry.

Who can tell the fortune of our courtesy?
When will our nights lead to blinding passion?
How will we write our romance of chivalry?

Poem #30, Sestina

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The Gillyflower of Gold

la belle jaune girofle'e!with apologies to William Morris

  A golden gillyflower today
  I wore upon my helm alway, 
  And won the prize of this tourney, 
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e. 

  However well Cedric might sit,
  His sun was weak to wither it; 
  And Cian's blood was dew on it. 
          Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e. 

  Although my spear in splinters flew,
  From Cian's steel-coat, my eye was true; 
  I wheeled about, and cried for you,
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e. 

  Yea, do not doubt my heart was good,
  Though my sword flew like rattan wood, 
  To shout, although I scarcely stood, 
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e. 

  My hand was steady too, to take
  My sword from round my waist, and break 
  Cian's steel-coat up for my love's sake. 
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e -- 

  When I stood in my tent again,
  Arming afresh, I felt a pain 
  Take hold of me, I was so fain -- 
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e -- 

  To hear Honneur aux fils des preux!  
  Right in my ears again, and shew 
  The gillyflower blossomed new. 
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e. 

  Valerian against me came,
  His shield bore a mermaid's frame 
  Twixt scallop shells with little blame -- 
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e -- 

  Our tough spears crackled up like straw;
  He was the first to turn and draw
  His sword, that had nor speck nor flaw; 
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e. 

  But I felt weaker than a maid,
  And my brain, dizzied and afraid,
  Within my helm a fierce tune played, 
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e,

  Until I thought of your dear head,
  Bowed to the gillyflower bed,
  The yellow flowers stained with red; 
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e. 

  Crash! how the swords met -- girofle'e!
  The fierce tune in my helm would play, 
  La belle! la belle! jaune girofle'e! 
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e. 

  Once more the great swords met again;
  "La belle! la belle!" but who fell then? 
  Lord Valerian, who struck down ten;
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e. 

  And as with 'mazed and unarmed face
  T'ward my cor'net and Her Excell'nt's place, 
  They led me at a gentle pace --
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e -- 

  I almost saw your quiet head
  Bowed o'er the gillyflower bed, 
  The yellow flowers stained with red. 
     Hah! hah! la belle jaune girofle'e. 

Notes: "la belle jaune girofle'e" means "the beautiful
yellow Gillyflower" and "Honneur aux fils des preux!" means 
"Honor to the sons of the valiant".

Poem #78   (W.Morris 1858; R.Edwards 1994)

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Random Winds

Buffeted by random winds it seems am
I of late, and hearing steps turn to see
No one where I feel your presence; God damn
My roving mind which cannot clearly be
Brought to task nor come to heed my needed
Work; foul mind! Come now to attend my cause;
Why can I not clear the clouds from my head,
So that by some artifice your glory applause
Gain from my labors, for so inspired
Am I that all my deeds and creations
Are yours, lock and stock; I am so fired
With passion I feel filled with flirtations.
My driving strength is gone, my mind storm tossed;
Without sight of you I fear I am lost.

Poem #17, Shakespearean Sonnet

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For Amergin's

In your absence I write these heartfelt words
To send across the gulf from Outremer:
My soul within me still with loving stirs
Recalling the smell of your perfume rare,
As songs drift to me from the woods so green
I wait for my love to make good her claim
To sweet brilliance, to be my heart's own queen;
Inspire us to intoxicating fame.
Your place at my table is here assured,
Here no pain will I serve but stars instead,
And healing drink to see all our wounds cured,
Ending all despair, giving joy as bread.
Hoping beyond hope our love you'll revive
Alone I don't know how I can survive.

Poem #20, Shakespearean Sonnet

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Glass Door

Through wet windows I saw you pass on by,
Head bowed under the rain; and my heart leapt
To see your hair, your walk, such things that I
Took such pleasure in and wished I had kept.
I rushed the door to try and follow you
Down the slippery path on which you strode,
But halted short for you had gone on too
Damn far for me to catch along that road.
So here I sit where I am not supposed
To be, watching the door for your return;
Wondering how can I myself oppose,
Now must I always guard my every turn?
Will I again now rush to see your face,
Or will I stay behind the glass in place?

Poem #86, Shakespearean Sonnet

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  One summer I awoke to find myself
  In love inspired and with prowess bold; 
  To find my soul's key taken from its shelf; 
  To burn as wind fanned flames from embers cold. 
     Now many seek to cage my flying soul,
     Which drifting searches for another way 
     To stop returning to my elder role, 
     But the cost is high and I cannot pay. 
  And now the armies marshal strong to press 
  Me from the sky into my cell so chill, 
  They take from me my joy and make me less, 
  And as sustaining winds become more still 
     I must to many wiser voices hark;
     Return to prison cold, into the dark. 

Poem #12, Shakespearean Sonnet

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Broken Sword

Like a broken sword
With many sharp shards missing
My heart has failed me
Knowing that it has failed you
Only heat can reforge it.

Poem #55, Tanka

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Are you my lady love?

  Are you my lady love, who like the moon,
  Reflects as changing cycles wax and wane 
  In harmony; each mood from dusk to noon 
  Now moving, dancing light and dark; now plain 
     Like bread, now richest sauce, now salt of earth; 
     Could deeper be the joy or sharper pain
     Or wetter be the tears or brighter mirth? 
     Not knowing tread now I with you this lane, 
  And never see the next sharp turn or way
  That we will pass, but still I trod along 
  Still hoping that before our roads might stray 
  Destroying dreamy love and joyous song,
     All trying would we cast aside and find 
     Our years just living dreams and be entwined. 

Poem #94, Shakespearean Sonnet

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Grey Skies

My mood, like the dark grey sky weeps more oft
Than I would like, as my sharp pain at loss
Of you turns into dull sadness so soft;
Like a work of silver, perhaps a cross,
Tarnished from bright argent to muted grey,
As hard shadows pass across its surface,
Like stormy waves on darkling sea or bay;
While I reside now inside my own place
Alone, afraid, racing to dodge the rain,
Both from within and without, that pours down
Unrelenting, as this dull aching pain
Drives me to silence and allows no sound.
Somewhere I know that the sky is still blue,
But I cannot see it, not without you.

Poem #65, Shakespearean Sonnet

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Fall's Song Too

  With biting chill of shadows comes the fall 
  To once more seize the warmth of summer's bliss 
  And turn the face of heaven's shining ball
  Away from earth's and part the lover's kiss. 
     In wooded glades where once they loving laid 
     Alone now wander shades of ghostly white; 
     Where green before the trees had new leaves made 
     Now on the ground their dying tears do lite. 
  The sullen clouds turn grey and bring the rain 
  To drown all hopes in sorrow's raging flood 
  And ruin end of season with more pain
  Than ere deserv'ed any man of blood. 
     When all has been now said and done of fall 
     Then comes the bitter winter to us all.

Poem #110, Shakespearean Sonnet

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Morgue Sonnet

With words more cruel than ever sword's keen edge
You spoke in quiet tones o'er our last meal,
And honest light out poured with weight of sledge
To drive the spike through summer's fragile seal.

'Tis sad to see a vision lying dead
On grisly marble slab in pools of blood;
To know that once where wings did rise and spread
Now gristle lays unmoving in the mud.

I wish it could have died a quiet death,
And fondly been remembered in a song,
But if dreams give their lives to breathe new breath
Then maybe hope can rise again ere long.

Now coldly lies the body out of sight,
And only time can tell what comes to light.

Poem #97, Shakespearean Sonnet

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Last Sestina of a Pair

Once, long ago, we strove for chivalry,
And joyful loved while graced with such fortune
That brought us strong and heartfelt passion,
Expressed with special zeal on Monday night,
Which we did smiling share with courtesy
As brightly grew the spark of our romance.

We marvelled happily in our romance
That boldly told our quest for chivalry,
While straining hard the course of courtesy
Affecting others jointly held fortune,
Yet bringing soulful dreams most every night,
And poetry which overflowed with passion.

So strong in us then ran the veins of passion,
That beyond the pale went our true romance.
Then came the time of tortured, dreary nights.
We parted, lost our way to chivalry,
And downward plunged our hopes for future fortune;
And broken lay the words of courtesy.

Regained now are the acts of courtesy,
So no longer may we share fire and passion,
And inspirations loss brings great misfortune
Such that I wonder if I can find romance
In days alone now filled with chivalry,
Which cannot warm the cold and lonely nights.

But still I breathe and dream and sleep at night,
Better now with honor and courtesy
While practicing the arts of chivalry,
And still the world, with the light of passion
Looks bright and leads my steps toward new romance
The way of which I leave to God and Fortune.

My future will not be poor in fortune,
As I will not be lonely all my nights;
Nor have I been forsaken by romance,
That art which most requires courtesy,
While searching still for desire and passion
To heighten the goals of my chivalry.

Thus ran the fortune of our courtesy.
Never again will night sky see our passion.
Thus ends now our romance of chivalry.

Poem #31, Sestina

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Summer Breeze

Doors, for too long closed,
Opened to her summer touch;
Fresh air cleared cobwebs
From the musty rooms within,
Now empty, there my soul dwells.

Poem #92, Tanka

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The Mirrored Pool

  Around the mirror pool two knights did spar,
  Each armed alike with sharpened pain for swords 
  Which wounded taint and did their armor mar, 
  Who grappling fell within the courtyard wards. 
     Their armor rent and tarnished with the rust 
     Of more use than e'er armor could sustain, 
     While battled they together in their lust 
     To seek some way by combat to regain
  Their lost lustre, polish their honored hope, 
  And by defeat in arms to learn to win
  With blows to guide as they together grope 
  Toward that bright chivalry, away from sin. 
     Hard strokes oft shear away the tarnish grey 
     As knights do strive on honor's path to stay. 

Poem #73, Shakespearean Sonnet

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A Quest par Amour

I wander questing par amour
And search in darkest glades of wood
In hope to find my paramour.

As knights did seek in days of yore,
Despite the hopeless likelihood,
I wandered questing par amour.

And finding one whom I adored,
Whose beauty could not be withstood,
I hoped I'd found my paramour.

Inspired by our deep rapport
I joyous fought for my knighthood
In wonder, questing par amour.

But love was stretched until no more
Was found and now no longer could
I hope I'd found my paramour.

Again now sings the troubadour
While this becomes my livelihood
I wander questing par amour
In hope to find my paramour.

Poem #53, Villanelles

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Fear Becalmed Mind

For many years had my ship sailed,
And many lands had been unveiled,
But some point on my voyage I was lost.
I had the sails reefed hard aboard,
Hatches battened, and aimed her toward
The calmest seas so I would not be tossed.
Then one fine day the wind grew brisk,
Gales arose and I took the risk
To find a port no matter what the cost.

Standing firm by the tiller pole,
I knew the ship would have to roll,
Unfurled the sails and let her find her course.
She racing pounded up and down,
But 'fore I sighted any town,
The driving winds failed from their distant source.
I stood not knowing what to do,
Abandoned by all of the crew,
Left filled with regret, horror and remorse.

Again the wind came with a rush,
As I on deck stood in a hush
While hoping the wind constant once might be.
So once again the sails are filled,
The captain happy, looking thrilled,
As the ship goes racing out across the sea.
I don't know if a town I'll find,
But won't let fear becalm my mind;
Where this voyage stops I will need to see.

Poem #63

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In Hraesvelgr

Above my poor heart, your beads did I wear
As made we full ready, to hack hew and tear.
First armed on the field, to honor your name
Last standing that day, to gather you fame.
We melee to start did speak out with pride
They named all their ladies, who stood by the side.
I spoke of my name, how I was a knight,
And that for my Queen, this day did I fight.
On hearing your name, the crowd did cheer loud,
And bearing your token, I stood there so proud.
Then Marshals did shout, we entered the fray,
Men died and swords flew, the dead thickly lay.
'Til triumph at last, praise god, to me came.
Then Daedin strode, with cape all aflame;
I knelt on the grass, she tied on my arm
A favor of plaid to keep me from harm.
She gracefully said with eyes all aglow
That I'm, from hereon, a Hraesvelgr hero.
So tournied we next, again for Your Grace
I fought against sword and left handed mace.
Each fight that I fought, I saluted in air
Toward far northern lands, to you being there.
The battle then ended, the fight fought the last
And when the dust cleared from combat en masse,
I tossed off my shield, such honor I felt
I threw down my sword and to Daedin knelt.
The Victor she named, your own true bold knight,
Who accepted the prize, which yours is by right.
For ne'er can a man win a thing of such worth,
Be it honor or glory, or rule of the earth,
That's value is more than the quest he rides on:
To honor his lady, find inspiration.
And so must these beads of amber and blue
Be given from me to their winner, to you.
Poem #105, Rhymed Couplets

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Ping Pong Sonnet

by Sir Brand McLiam and Sir Richard Fitzalan
printed by permission.

Two warriors, who've seen the face of war,
And lived to sing the song of their own deeds,
Sit now in silent darkness 'gainst the door,
While lonely, timeless vigils anguish feeds.

Too sharp the cold of mists bite into bone,
Too dull the thought that shapes their tired mind,
Too quick the spark is gone by embers thrown,
Too hard, these tindered steels, they wait the wind.

With memories that warm small parts of pain,
And crack the door with soft, warm light of dawn;
Two grins crack lips too used to frowning's name,
As now two lips do open, bringing song.

What waits is nailing at the hem of night,
But never will delay the coming light.

Poem #108, Shakespearean Sonnet

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A Truly Loyal Gentle Knight

A truly loyal gentle knight
Cannot his own lady ignore.
Viewing passion and beauty bright,
A truly loyal gentle knight
Cannot forever blind his sight,
Til he can stand to see no more.
A truly loyal gentle knight
Cannot his own lady ignore.

Poem #45, Triolet

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le Renaissance du le Chevalier Joyeaux

My herald called my lady's home
To inform her this day I roam
To far away, to Tourney bold
And battle bravely, not for gold,
But glory gain to bring to her,
And story write to all hearts stir.

But Beauty was not home this day,
I could not further make delay,
And so set out upon my quest
To fight inspired, do my best,
And reclaim title, nomme de guerre,
While standing field without a care.

Alone I rode to barons hall,
My visage hid from one and all
So I could for my secret fight,
Whose love and troth I've yet to plight,
And strive with inspiration there
As summer joy when fought we pair.

No surcoat covered armor new,
Old great helm hid my face from view,
No belt of knightly white embraced,
Nor chain around my neck was laced;
My shield no baron's arms displayed,
But Argent, bendy gules now laid.

First on the field was I that day,
Fought one and all who came that way;
Then Herald called the lists to start,
He called my name and leapt my heart
For on this day I fought for you,
Known as le Chevalier Joyeaux.

The combat first was 'gainst a knight,
And seldom seen was better fight;
He struck my legs and I went down
And then I struck him on the crown;
Great deeds were done in lists that day
As fighters fell, some died, some stayed.

I faced a squire in round four
And pointed where my blow would score
His helm and win this fight for you
He spoke and dared me to strike true;
I smiled and laying on I placed
One killing blow on his helm graced.

At last now came the final round,
With nobleman of great renown,
And we both fought with might and main
As both did seek to find some gain;
At last did fall my foe's sword blow,
It seemed not strong, but mostly show.

The Crowd roared loudly, he stepped back
I shouted "no" that blow did lack
The strength to drive me from the field
I did not think it worth the yield,
The knight did naught but pause and stare
That from that blow I should be spared.

So I called "hold" and walked to him
Still smiling joyous, not so grim,
And asked what he thought of the blow,
That I should be mistaken so;
Then he said plain he thought it good
And I fell dying, like I should.

At last now came the final fight,
For two of three to see who might
Be Champion if he did dare
As we in contest honored there
Our inspirations chivalry
We could but strive and wait and see.

Le Chevalier did strike a blow
Which his opponent's legs did owe,
And cowered he behind his shield,
Then Joyeaux spoke on honored field
And asked if he was alright there
Or if the sun hung wrong in air.

The nobleman then said "oh, no",
'Twas not the light which laid him low,
But fear of his opponent's might
Which had brought such defensive fright.
Le Chevalier struck his own leg
And brought himself now down a peg.

On equal knees the contest went,
Both fighters were now nearly spent
When valiant man struck fatal blow
And dying laid on his own foe.
With Chivalry upon the grass,
Thus ends the Tourney, say the mass.

So then the feasting did begin
And Chevalier did broadly grin
When asked if high seat he would sit,
He declined, for would not be fit
For simple Richard Glimmer there
Where all could watch and smile and stare.

So I sat with friends of my own,
And told too many jokes and groaned,
And though I sat by ladies' grace
Still missed I sorely your own face
And saved a place by my own hand
For you to sit as we had planned.

I drummed and sang and played that night
For joy again had graced with light
My countenance which had been dim
No longer strove to be so grim;
I draw such sun from open heart
Though we are still so far apart.

Poem #98, Rhymed Couplets

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Eyes in Darkened Sky

My true love's eyes in darkened sky I felt one night alone,
While gentle trees waived in the breeze moved like her hair and shone.
The breeze that kissed my smiling cheek just added to my groan
While stars above remind me of the love that I enthrone.

A ghost at times she seems to me I cannot have nor hold
Yet there is so much passion that I cannot but be bold.
The weather turns my fate draws down and I am growing cold,
But still I have my dreams whose worth is more than any gold.

The time may come when spirits move to bring her unto me
When mighty fate and truest love must rumble like the sea.
As we entwine her heart and mine how better can life be,
But now there's naught that I'll do but await her word and see.

Poem #44, La Cuaderna Via

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Hraefn mac Thaidhg 
     Cover and Title 

Lord Seamus na Coille Aosada 
     Title Page 

Mistress Dunstana Talana the Violet, OL 
     Back Cover, [iv], 19-20, 32, 40, [43] 

Baron Sir Richard Fergus Fitzalan de Glymmere 
     Pages: i, iii, 11, 15, 26,  

Early medieval designs from Britain for artists  
and craftspeople" by Eva Wilson. Dover, c1983.  
With permission. 
     Pages: 3, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 22, 23, 30, 42 

The Honorable Lord Vaclav Bili 
     Page 38 


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Madeby: Rich Edwards
Last modified: 3/20/98