Laurel for Anna Mikel von Salm

This Scroll is actually a book. The text is written as a series of poems in ryme royal – a form introduced by Chaucer in the 1380s which was considered one of the standards for narrative poetry during the Middle Ages. It is a seven-line iambic pentameter rhyming poem with the structure of ababbcc.

Mikel’s persona is 16c German, and so I used relevant German aphorisms for the headings for each poem. They are probably not period but they are appropriate and fun, and help tie this to her persona more tightly.  (I’m ok with it.)

The scroll-poems each took two pages. The official text itself is followed by a set of poems about specific arts that Mikel enjoys: dance, dabbling, music, and ink. They are written by Baron Jean Corbeau de Montaigne, Baroness Sylvia du Vey, and me.

a set of hand-calligraphed pages for a book
Some of the pages of the book by Lady Camille des Jardins.


Allwissend bin ich nicht; doch viel ist mir bewusst
“I do not know everything; still many things I understand”


Wie man in den Wald hineinruft, so schallt es heraus.
“Just as one calls into the forest, so it echoes back.”

Join Eastern people and rejoice today
As Empire’s Crown doth call you gather here
Now harken all, listen well as you may.
So shall we strive to make our meaning clear
As we lay wreath upon our subject dear
We muse upon the sweet Anna Mikel –
And how the pow’r of Art doth her impel.

Anfangen ist leicht, beharren eine Kunst.
“To begin is easy, to persist is art.”

Upon that holy road few can compete
with melodies that issue note by note,
with work of thread and cloth ever so neat,
from tiny works to luxuri’ous coat.
From letters on the page that she hath wrote,
to dancing merrily, to living well
within the glor’ious tent where she oft dwell.

Within the house which she hath built with love,
Her handiwork enlivens Wanderstamm,
that look’d like heav’n had brought it from above-
bright braziers, bocce, or softly sung psalm,
a place where work is seen as cheerful balm,
as joyful as a rousing roundelay
industri’ous devotion to this play.

Das beste is gut genug
“The best is good enough”

To Anne Mikel von Salm, no art do daunt
so we bestow these arms that she may bear
Argent, on (a) pale sable a rose argent,
a bordure gules, by letters patent rare.
Lay on her curling corona of hair
or on her shoulder place the sacred wreath
that all may ken the artist underneath.

Bedenke das Ende.
“In your every endeavor reflect the end.”

Acknowledged hereforth as a Laurel fine
from this the twelfth day of merry July
anno sociatis forty nine
Brennan, Augustus, declares it true and nigh
Cailfhionn Augusta joins with her reply
at the Malagent’s great northeastern war
Mistress Mikel be known forever more.


On Dance

Je toller, desto besser.
“The more the merrier.”

She glides with subtle grace across the floor.
Her cheerful word and ready laugh they hear.
She welcomes those who seek for Terpsichore,
and bids youth and experience draw near.

And should the fearsome enemy’s head rear,
her feet will flow from glade and ballroom hence,
to use her agile art in East’s defense!

–  Baron Jean Corbeau de Montaigne

On Dabbling

Beispiele tun oft mehr als viel Wort’ und Lehr’ .
“Examples often do much more than words and teachers.”

Here we hath praise for one of great talent
praise many things, for she loves to dabble
the pen, the bow, the sword, the dance gallant,
music for kings and for cheerful rabble,
kind in her words, indisposed to brabble,
teaching, dancing, or leading the choral,
lo, it is shown, she ought be a laurel.

– Mistress Sylvia du Vey

On Ink

Das Word verhallt, die Schrift bleibt.
“The word dies away, the written remains.”

Language’s power each neat stroke contains,
beauty immortal pours forth from her pen.
The word dies away, the written remains,
Every inflection she makes live again.
Alighting on pages soft as the wren
lands in the forest, but with gall and gold,
she captures our words and stories we’ve told.

– Baroness Aneleda Falconbridge

On Music

Wie die Alten singen, so zwitschern auch die Jungen.
“As the old ones sing, so do the young ones chirp.”

The fine lady gathered folk round the stems,
and pulled forth fine blossoms out of carved wood,
She transformed musicians into sweet friends
who lightened all hearts where-ever they stood.

Her music, so lovely, does nought but good.
Voices raised heavenward, feet made to dance,
Euphony infuses life with romance.

– Baroness Aneleda Falconbridge