The following poems are from a work in progress--a medieval fantasy novel--and have been written as the poetry of the main character or about the main character. I hope you enjoy them.
The Warrior-Poet's Song
I tell of battles old, and those to come,
Of warclouds building in the western sky,
Of struggles to protect the kingdom from
The evil of the Wizard-King's pale eye.
Believe or not; the choice is up to you.
But I was there and saw it for myself
And now I tell the stories...false or true?
Take down the book or leave it on the shelf.
I pen these thoughts. It helps me clear my mind
Remembering the things that came before.
They're here for you to read. I hope you find
A haven for your soul on Destrain's shore.
So join me as I sing the songs of old;
Of Magic strange, and soldiers brave and bold.
A Young Soldier to His Sweetheart
I sometimes wake in the dark of night
From dreams of evil things
And lay awake till the morning light
When the bell for breakfast rings
And I know the others do not know
The ghastly things I've seen
And they do not know that nightmares grow
From the hells where I have been
But when I lie in the dark of night
I sometimes hear your voice
And see your face, and the gentle sight
Makes my empty heart rejoice
I hold you then, close to my heart
Though I know you're far away
And dream of the day we're not apart
When at last I'm home to stay.
They're teaching me to ride a horse at least a mile tall
I really don't mind very much except the times I fall
Which isn't more than every time I move or breathe or cough
And learn that I have told the horse to throw his rider off
They tell us that the slightest twitch means something to the horse
Like run or turn or bite or kick or bound around with force
But every single move I make, with foot or hand or knee
Imparts the message, loud and clear - Be riderless! Be free!
I spend more time upon the ground than on his back, it's true
But then again I'm not alone...the others all do, too
And every lesson I get up, and on his back I climb
And tell myself, "Today's the day, I'm staying on this time!"
A laughing boy with dancing eyes
Whose father doth despair
The lad will ever realize
That life's not always fair
And lovely as the boy may think.
All through his youth he sang and danced
He made his village laugh
With carefree heart and foolish songs.
Some thought him only half-
Intelligent. Yet he was wise
In the ways of the creatures of the wood
In the ways of being kind and good
With a heart as big as the forest wide
Until the soldiers came....
I did not come to the castle-city to roll in the mud with boys
Nor did I come to watch them play with wooden swords - mere toys
I came to learn to be a man
To fight for my Queen, to defend my land
To save my home from the vicious hand
Of the evil Wizard-King.
No other here has seen the things that I have already seen
No other here knows the horrors grim of the places I have been
A babe unborn from its mother torn
Before her shrieking eyes
Her husband caught - though he bravely fought -
And tortured before he dies.
I ran through the wood, through the bramble and brush with their daughter in my arms -
A little girl, no more than six - to keep her safe from harm
And I wept for the ones I could not save
From a ghastly death and a lonely grave
And I prayed to the gods to make me brave
'gainst the evil Wizard-King.
So I came to learn the arts of war from soldiers strong and true
And I find myself with puling babes, who posture and act as if they knew
What it is to see the death of friends -
Who think the nightmare quickly ends
Who do not know how the terror rends
Your heart in the dark of night.