A knight went a riding on the finest of days
never to think of fate’s fickle ways.
He sang a sweet song as he rode through the wood
the day had portents of nothing but good.
But deep in the forest came a scent on the breeze
of fire and danger, unseen through the trees.
It came from village, his castle, his keep
where he had just that morn left his lady asleep.
He turned round his charger and blew loud the horn.
He tore ore the thickets and jumped ore the thorn.
He near broke his mount with his spurs in her side
to beat the flames like thunder he’d ride
Beneath the bright sky of impossible blue
the sky was now colored an impossible hue.
The keep had been broken the great towers were down;
his squires were all dead and the place held no sound.
Heedless of all, he charged through the gate
until he found his lady he would not abate.
He found her struck mute by the sights she had seen
in the courtyard garden, grey o’re the green.
She wore fine silver ashes instead of a gown.
She wore broken windows in place of her crown.
She looked right through him as he lifted her high.
She did not once move, or utter a sigh.
The knight tried all the things that the stories do tell
from magical apples to the life-giving well.
The gifts she ignored and the glass pushed away,
for her madness kept in her the fear of that day.
She built a wide fortress inside of her heart
with stones o’re the gate, and no weakening art.
She dug it in deep, and moved below the earth
living as dead alone in that dark berth.
At last the brave man built o’re every door
and changed all the standards to gules from bright or.
He had given his oath to care for his wife,
and so planted a garden to surround her with life.
His lady did die in her fortress so cold.
His love could not reach her, no matter how bold.
He had done what he could, and is spotless of blame.
He mourned her with candles, and wept at the flame.
The wound still aches hotly when the smoke fills the air,
though nothing is burning, he senses it there.
When he hears the sweet tune he was singing that day
in spite of himself, he is carried away.
Oh would I could bring him some succor and peace,
A balm or a salve that could make his pain cease.
Do not succumb to your dear lady’s fate,
For a garden grows richly outside your estate.
I cannot bring back the castle or rebuild his keep
I have only my voice to lullay him to sleep.
But I will protect him, his sorrows allay
So rest, sweet knight, slumber and dream of the day.