Sestina for a Crown
Well shaded from the vernal heat
And dangling on silken thread,
The leaf-bright tree worms sway and dream -
Oblivious to passers-by
Who pluck them off of breast or crown,
Intent upon the tourney field.
Assembled on the sun-drenched field
A host of fighters brave the heat
Presenting consorts to the Crown.
Entwined in one unbroken thread,
They stand that all might know them by
Their dedication to the Dream.
The least of fighters has his dream
Of besting on the battlefield
Each hapless knight who happens by;
He might be addled by the heat
Or following a Norn-spun thread
That leads him to a kingdom's crown.
The king who bears the crescent crown,
Acceding to his fondest dream,
Will weave it with a common thread
That binds contenders on the field:
Cool heads that temper battle heat
And trust to skill to carry by.
The consorts silently stand by
And try to dwell not on the crown
That shimmer wraith-like in the heat -
To all but one a hopeless dream.
Well-wishes they try best to field
While through murk woods their thoughts do thread.
In tattered cloth or silken thread,
The populace will know him by
His chivalry upon the field
That brings to one a princely crown:
The culmination of a dream
That finishes with evening's heat.
Rosemary thread into a crown;
Good will for-by the one whose dream
To win the field transcends heart's heat.
-- Mistess Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler
My first sestina.