For fame one does not hoist the mighty sword
Nor take up as his art the rapier keen,
But for our Griffyth King, our Eastern Lord,
They thrust and parry, feint and fight as seen.
Thick has the field of noble challenge been
Yet one became distinct amongst the crowd.
Now sing we all as one this joyful pean
Unto the one who makes our King thus proud.
Ring out ye wintry bells of Bergantal
This twenty second day of the new year,
Proclaim this fencer’s prowess in your halls
Defender of the Eastern Realm all hear,
What Honor, Grace, Finesse and Chivalry –
The Champion of our King this one must be.
Signed King Griffith Fitzwilliam this day
That Gryffith d’Avingon
for pleasant art amid the lists is named
King’s Rapier Champion for this fine display
In anno societis forty-five
the year this noble one is thus acclaimed.
Notes on this piece:
Sonnet rhyme scheme based on a verse by Sir Philip Sidney written in 1581.
wot ys that sund that calls us to war?
ys þe horn ðat lady blaws to roar.
wot ys that sund wot maks myn herte ache?
ys þe swet sound this same lady mak.
wot ys the laugh ich can now here?
ys a tale from the lady just finished near.
wot ys that tune that make vs go round?
ys her song ðat bringeþ daunce to ground.
wot ys that note that ringeþ so cleir?
ys þe lady herself a-fluting ther.
wot is that brigþ and merrie sound?
ys þe lady who singeþ there unbaundoun.
semper in te glorior
wot can we do for one so fayr
to laud hire gift ðat give us cheer?
a silver cup, a pretty thynge,
granted by our virtuous King,
ys very good and fitting fine
to grant this kynde lady sign
her herte doþ mak us synge and more,
thus we name hire Troubador.
Ai! With sound of horn, voice and recorder,
Constancia comes to the Order.
by our hand this finest day
while at the Castle Knox we play
signed here by King Edward and Queen Marguerite,
this lauding songe is now complete.
Latin Translation: Rosa rubicundior, lilio candidior, omnibus formosior, semper in te glorior dulcis musica – Redder than the rose, whiter than the lilies, fairer than everything, I will always glory in thee, sweet music.)
Notes on the piece:
I was reading a lot of very early English verse at the time this was written, and so it was created with that in my mind. I used all the period writing bits too, ð (eth) the (th) þ are the sounds. They look neat at least! She plays the straight horn and trumpet, and is really great on recorder, and sings beautifully. So all that was incorporated into the images in the song. It’s supposed to be a bit of a love song to her.
Right, so Lady Constancia de Vienne was previously Lady Melisunde d’Ione, and was of this writing and of the initial award long before. This was a backlogged scroll, and a joy to write for a friend! In this version, I updated it to use her current SCA name.
Also, I forgot that it would actually have been King Kelson and Queen Geneviere. That would have changed the scheme.
It should have read, I suppose:
“Signed here by Kelson von Heidelberg, King and
Geneviere d’Alsace, Queen
we at long last rest serene.”
We bring forth Lord Micah of Brighton Hall, to join as brother those who are as enchanted by the fields of war as he, the Companions of the Order of the Tygers Combatant. Here we laud his prowess and delight of all that one embraces in the fight. But hear, assembled ones of this fine court, the history of this man whom we exhort:
A farmboy once, as all good
He’d run across the
Northshield fields afar,
A lanky lad then, lean and
fair and tall
With large sticks he would
make the straw man fall.
A sapling bow he used to
keep at bay
The spurred cock whose beak
would ankles flay.
He frightened tinkers
who would tread the land
And helped his family’s
As he grew up, his weapons
did as well
From humble stick to staff,
from straw to pell.
From charging through the
fields of wheat and hay
To charging through the
fields of foes to slay.
He took to hand the axe, the
sword, the pike,
The bow, the mace, the
spear, the brutal spike,
Each one to play and see
what was its art
For each one had its wisdom
This noble lad, and brave
and good, but wild,
Was skilled by Eastern men,
whose tempers styled
The man before you here, who
you now see
Into the very tale of
This vibrant one whose joy
upon the field
Has all support within this
Combattant Tygers of
the noble East,
Rejoice today as your ranks
You have heard this tale
today, in Birka’s marketplace in the January cold, on the twenty-ninth
day, Anno Societatis
in the Barony of Stonemarche.
With pleasure do our brave King Griffith and beauteous Queen Aikaterine sign this writ to
Notes on the piece:
Well, this is what comes of having someone who’s known you a while write your scroll text. It was the fourth rewrite, I just couldn’t get the tale short enough! At some point, I will just tell the tale in full and feel like I’ve done my job!
Y gwaith a ganmol y gweithiwr. Cyfoeth pob crefft.*
Fine tokens come from this one’s hand,
His graceful talents in demand.
Bursting from within,
Joyful is our din
Lauds begin through the land.
Now gather Maunche Companions here
for Gwillim Kynith, whose career
brings forth attention
and with contention
ascension with much cheer.
Steady his hand paints glass so red
A hundred men have ate his bread,
Delights us to sing
As sounds soft lute string.
Dancers spring at his tread.
Many find his most pleasant brew
Inspires fine tales both old and new
Which he could transcribe.
But dance and imbibe
and ascribe him his due.
There is no greater thing than art
to wound or soothe, its gifts impart.
One who can so ply
May on art rely
to comply from the start.
By his work the worker is praised;
Every craft is wealth, it is phrased
So beyond measure,
Art, precious treasure,
our pleasure is thus raised.
Granted by the the Companions of the Order of the Maunche, writ by the noble hands of Gryffith King of the Mighty East, and Aiketerine glorious Queen, this January the twenty-ninth anno societatis forty-five, at the Marketplace at Birka in the Barony of Stonemarch.
Notes on the piece:
Y gwaith a ganmol y gweithiwr.
(By his work the worker is praised.)
Uh GWAITH uh GAHN-mole uh GWAY-thyur.
(The AI as I in “might”, the O not *quite* as long as in “mole”, the AY as in “way”).
Cyfoeth pob crefft.
(Every craft is wealth.)
kuh-VOYTH pobe KREFT.
(The “kuh” pretty much as in “k’BOOM”, “pobe” as in “robe” but a bit shorter, the “VOYTH” like “voice” with a lisp).
About the style of the poem:
The clogyrnach [clog-ir-nach] is a Welsh quantitative verse form. It contains 32 syllables in a 6-line stanza. The first couplet contains eight syllables in each line; the second, five; the third, three. (The last couplet may be written as a single, 6-syllable line.) The rhyme scheme is aabbba.
x x x x x x x a (8)
x x x x x x x a
x x x x b (5)
x x x x b
x x b x x a (3)
(Thanks to Steven Mesnick for the help with the Welsh selection and pronunciation!)
A Canzone written for Alessandra da Montereggioni by Aneleda Falconbridge
Qual donna attende a gloriosa fama
di senno, di valor, di cortesia? *
Gather and hear, noble people of the Mighty East, of a Lady so kind that Petrach himself would have searched for words, one of such bliss as is seldom seen walking these low and mortal paths.
To those who love service, and too, chivalry,
we speak of a lady, and give our rationale
Of a spirit generous, of great morale
held in high esteem by all who are her friend.
We see this golden creature all around us
extending gentle hand with most noble grace
toward any task requested in this dear place
to see it through no matter how far its end.
She brings the new and kindly helps them to blend
in the crowd of brewers, dancers, sewers, cooks,
and shares the wondrous knowledge gained from her books
Her encouragement lights the paths many wend.
With golden threads she has sewn us up with love,
It is with sad joy we set free this sweet dove.
Thus it is the will of ever-right and kind King Gryffith and our resplendent and gentle Queen Aikaterine that Alessandra da Montereggioni becomes a Lady of our Court this day, the fifth day of the month of love, Anno Societatis forty-five, at the King and Queen’s Bardic Champions in the fair Shire of Endewearde.
(Italian translation) *Doth any maiden seek the glorious fame Of chastity, of strength, of courtesy? – Petrarch
Notes about the piece:
This canzone is written with 11 syllables per line, based on a style used by Dante, who wrote of Montereggioni. Seemed like a good idea at the time…
The scheme is as follows:
I found these suggestions online:
First two lines: Define your subject and how you will speak with the reader
Second two lines: Convey the central theme, question, or conflict.
Third set of lines (broken into a quatrain): Convey your mood, sentiment, and stance
“Derived from the Provençal canso, the very lyrical and original Italian canzone consists of 5 to 7 stanzas typically set to music, each stanza resounding the first in rhyme scheme and in number of lines (7 to 20 lines). The canzone is typically hendecasyllabic (11 syllables). The congedo or commiato also forms the pattern of the Provençal tornado, known as the French envoi, addressing the poem itself or directing it to the mission of a character, originally a personage. Originally delivered at the Sicilian court of Emperor Frederick II during the 13th century of the Middle Ages, the lyrical form was later commanded by Dante, Petrarch, Boccaccio, and leading Renaissance writers such as Spenser (the marriage hymn in his Epithalamion).” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canzone)