Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kyr Yaroslav the Persistant - Fighter Poem - ballad

Kyr Yaroslav the Persistant
fallen in Crown Tourney, September, A.S. XXV*

A fierce wind breaks against the door
In gusts to split the wood.
And shrieking zephyrs claw the panes--
T'would enter if they could.
xxxx"Unquiet night! It gives me fright.
xxxxWhy, such a din might raise the dead!
xxxxBecalm thy nature, cease thy airs
xxxxAnd greet my lord with peace instead."
Thus speaks the lady of the hearth
To still her flighty mood.

A knock, a knock, and thrice a knock--
The door departs its frame.
And there before her stands a man
Alight as if by flame.
xxxx"My lord!" cries she and makes to rise
xxxxBut wonder checks her in mid stride.
xxxxAs he advances on the hearth
xxxxHe does not walk so much as glide.
"I've come to see thee once last time,
And to a-quit my claim."

"What talk is this?" She feigns a laugh
That hits the flags like glass.
"You've but return'ed from the fray.
My vigil ends at last.
xxxxI've set your chair before the fire--"
xxxx"I'll no more feel it's rosey glow
xxxxNor watch its embers fade to ash.
xxxxOne moment more and I must go."
He shrugs his spectral shoulders as
The light of life burns fast.

"How can this be?" she cries aloud.
"No knight's your equal, Kyr!"
"Indeed, it took a brace of knights
To fell one bogatir!
xxxxAnd now I hear the call-to-arms
xxxxThat draws all fighters in their time.
xxxxFarewell, dear lady. Fare thee well."
xxxxHe lifts his arms in eldritch mime.
His mortal raiment falls like flame-
Bright feathers on the air.

"Farewell, my lord," she whispers as
His spirit lifts o'er head
Like some bright bird that takes to flight
In whisps of gold and red.
xxxxIt makes a circuit of the hall
xxxxThen seeps like mist back through the door.
xxxxNo more contained by walls of stone
xxxxThe soul of this brave knight must soar.
Yet Catriona can but weep
Kyr Yaroslav is dead.

-- Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler

*Thoron was the editor


I seem to recall searching for some Russian form or folk tale to hang this poem upon. I must have found one, tho I don't remember any details.

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