Lays of the Armoured Isle (3)

The Tambard and the Maricet
(Araleyn’s Song)

The tambard wore Rohalion’s crown
where wide and deep the Anvar wound
through farm and village rich with kine
to seas beyond them, silverine.

In Xanthace sat the maricet
in broad estate and land bedecked
in soils and sunshine where the vine
embraced the Forest Ylandine.

And these two things beguile me yet:
the tambard and the maricet.

The tambard royal nightly played
to lords and princes rich arrayed,
captains renowned on land and sea
in arts of puissance, valiancy.

Noble, the maricet, designed
for lords and ladies high refined,
skilled in all philosophy,
art-exquisite in courtesy.

and these two things beguile me yet:
the tambard and the maricet.

The tambard’s note was sunlit streams
clear and bright, yet brushed with dreams
of stars upon the midnight sea,
upon the waves, eternally.

The maricet dropped notes of dew
in morning grass. Who heard them knew
the secret of the winds; could see
unknown and fragile ecstasy.

And these two things beguile me yet:
the tambard and the maricet.

Rohalion lauds the maricet;
in Xanthace, the tambard is well met.
Such beauty must truly, by consent,
not vie in art, but complement.

Together, they beguile me yet:
the tambard and the maricet.



Remembering the Autumn Skirmish
(Softfoot’s long ride home)

The snow falls still;
white on the plain,
the plain, white
with snow.

The leaves fell then;
red on the road,
the road, red
with leaves.

The snow falls,
white on the skin;
The skin,
white like snow.

And blood fell too
from hearts strong and brave;
from hearts brave and young
fell blood long ago.

The snow drives
hard on the hill.
Imprisoned is the hill
by still falling snow.

And tears fell warm
on long flowing tresses;
dressed were the tresses
in warm falling tears.

The snow drives
hard against my heart.
Engulfed is my heart
by the still falling snow.

For my heart fell then
among the red leaves.
Among the red leaves,
for my friends, long ago.

The snow fills the world
hard and cold like my heart.
Hard and cold is the world,
like my heart, from the snow.

But rain will fall soon
fresh from the heavens;
and the world will be leavened
by the good, falling rain.



The Lure of the Naiad
(Being the First Part of ‘My Pallid Queen’)

‘Twas in the brook Lieti
I first beheld my lady;
she gazed upon the waters
           running green.

Her kirtle held she to her thighs,
and dreamland’s mists were in her eyes
as gazed she at the freshet
           flowing free.

She was a sprite, a slender reed,
a graceful water bird, I deemed,
an airy nymph, this maid
           upon the stream.

A faery vision pale, and all
my lifelong hopes were hers in thrall
that moment, when I saw her
           in the stream.

The water plashing those fair limbs
pronounced she knew no earthly sin;
and all the world as innocent
           as she.

And as I held her face, her form,
I knew her holy as the dawn
that smiles upon the earth
           afresh and clean.

In her I saw all women fair,
all tenderness, all love, all care,
the sum of all that maidenhood
           could mean.

I moved a mite so she would note
this wan and callow youth’s approach,
and prayed that breath would not
           disturb the dream.

And as my glance about her played
she shook her hair to disarray,
and lowered eyes, and smiled
           upon the stream.

Oh! Dare I cross the water green,
to see her close, to touch my queen?
(Her lovely eyes uplifted
           from the stream.)

My pounding heart, my breathing taut
betrayed my feelings, as I sought
to stand among the ripples
           at her knee.

And O, the glory when that gaze
lit to my eyes, and I, amazed,
flushed o’er and mumbled words
           as in a dream.

I wound her in a shy embrace,
and placed my palms about her face;
her kirtle fell awash
           amid the stream…


From ‘The Lost Manuscripts’

2 thoughts on “Lays of the Armoured Isle (3)

  1. Beautiful poems. I love the format / rhyme scheme of ;The Lure of the Naiad’. ‘The Tambard and the Maricet’ is my favourite, though. I can see and hear the scene and the iambic tetrameter and repetition are haunting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jacydo. ‘The Tambard and the Maricet’ is late-Mediaeval in style; the ‘chorus’ is modeled on one I remember from a mid-16th century poem – ‘How shall I sing, how shall I look, / In honour of the Master-Cook’. That naiad exercised the usual sorcery, of course … 😉 . But there’s much more to her than that, as I hope to outline in the second part of ‘My Pallid Queen’ (from which ‘The Lure of the Naiad’ is taken) particularly in an accompanying discussion. Thanks again for another welcome comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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