Friday, June 12, 2009

Sir Dante Lizza da Benevento - Fighter Poem - Terza Rima

Sir Dante Lizza da Benevento
fallen in Spring Crown Tourney, A.S. XL

Johanna’s Canto
with a nod to that other Dante—

(Terza Rima)

On the morrow of our tourney day
We found ourselves in a wood so strange
That we couldn’t tell where the eric lay.

Difficult my thoughts are to arrange
To tell the story of that eldritch wood
For memory flutters ‘round me like a lark

That I would fein catch it if I could;
Yet whatever I observed there I’ll attempt
In order to tell what we found that was good.

A crowd of lords and ladies in fine dress
Assembled on a pennant-dappled ground
Where knights and fighters gathered to contest

To find which of their number should be crowned
And name his lady Queen of all Caid.
Their names were legion, famed the known world ‘round—

Or green and untried — all there primed to heed
The call to arms when the herald’s trumpet
Echoed off each tree, leaf, stem and reed.

Bold my Dante faced a wicked trident
Wielded on the field by his first foe,
Wilhelm, who fought with skill ‘til his strength was spent.

Swan-like Eilidh gathered him up to go.
Sir Dante bowed his head to love’s display
Then cast his gaze on mine with eyes aglow.

My smile served to buoy him for the fray
For next, one Thomas Whitehart took the field.
Thomas, true adroit with sword or word play,

Whittled away until my Dante reeled
And wheeled upon the hart and quite slew him.
I heard Ingilborg sigh, True’s fate now sealed.

Emboldened, Dante acted on a whim
And charged a boar with sinister intent.
Alas Sir Edward gored; Dante grew grim.

As gentle as I might I sewwed each rent
And soothed his brow and tended to his ache.
His body mended and I was content

To have him take the field for honor’s sake.
Sir Ashraf al-Mansur took up the gage.
Blow for blow in martial give and take

They danced about the field in measured rage.
Tho Dante fought his heart out, Ashraf won
And wrote the final script to Dante’s page.

The tourney day spun dizzyingly on
But for our part the day was at an end.
We watched the shadows stretch out from the sun

As colors shifted and began to blend.
A cheer rose up as one knight stood alone
And pennants dipped in honor of Sir Sven.

Orfhendur and Kolfinna sit the throne.
The eldritch wood fades quickly from our ken.
But when stars are aligned and portents shown

Then I, Johanna, will take up my pen
And Dante boldly take the field again.

— Mistress Philippa Llewelyn Schuyler a 15th century Burgundian cloth merchant who thinks she’s a 10th century Viking weaver.

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