The Ballad of the Coins – Part 2.
For thirty days I rested home
And time did heal the pain.
Then upon the thirtieth day
She called for me again.
‘Dear Heart your trials are almost done,
Are you of fitter mirth?
For this last quest, in part is jest:
Show me what you are worth!’
Thus she gave the final coin
The smallest of the three,
And kissing her a thricen time
We parted company.
This time Southward I did turn
To meet my final fate,
And down the long Kings Highway
I passed through the city gate.
At last I stood in cities’ heart
Agaping there for I
Was filled with awe and wonder
As gold towers filled the sky.
And all about the scream and shout
Of a thousand voices bold,
Each locked in mortal argument
O’er all the goods they sold.
I wandered through the market streets
Such wonders I beheld:
Spices, silks and rich sweetmeats,
Large sparkling emerald.
Ne’re before had I beheld
Such great a wealth as this,
and in my youth and folly
Was I filled with avarice.
But even as this evil greed
Began to fill my eyes
I saw upon a fine white steed
A face I recognized.
Then pushing quickly through the crowd
Towards that mount I ran
And coming to him finally
Beheld: Sir Cerrenan!
Most silently he stared at me
And tears did fill his face
And fell upon not tattered rags
But finest silken lace.
Then holding firmly my left arm
The elder bid me mount
and as we journeyed through the town
He bade my tale recount.
Then came we to a hostelry
This inn it was most fine
And as we entered through the door
Quoth he ‘This inn is mine!’
And having ordered iced fruits
And dark exotic wine,
The wizened gent towards me lent
And bid me to recline.
‘My lad,’ said he ‘to you I owe
The riches I possess,
As from that disk of purest gold
I’ve reaped much fruitfulness.’
‘And though I labeled quite absurd
The quest on which you rode,
I now know truth, oh glorious youth!
Creation’s seed you sowed.’
‘So stay with me, my blade most free
And from life’s cup we’ll sip.
I offer you to pay my due
An equal partnership.’
With mouth dropped wide I bare replied
My mind an inky sea,
I saw the fruits I saw the wine
(Could half of this in truth be mine?)
Dear love what blessed gift was thine
That gave this quest to me!
Then ’till crow of rampant cock
We danced and stamped our feet,
And then we ventured to the dock
To see our trading fleet.
He taught me facts of duty tax
Quoth he ‘In complication,
Use the rule most valuable:
Ethics of Situation.’
Thus three months past, then three times three
As many plans wove we,
And in that cities trading heart
We gained monopoly.
Then upon my year with him
A party Ce’n did throw,
With wine and food and dancing girls
And many folk did go.
Drank I deep upon that eve
And sense took leave of me,
And one young girl with flaming curls
I eyed lasciviously.
Thus calling maiden to me then
I asked of her the price
For us to fill, for good or ill,
The nights dark hours with spice!
Then having bargained amicably
I led her to my berth,
And laid her head upon my bed
To take my money’s worth.
But e’en before this wondrous chore
Had dutifully begun
I saw once more my loved ones coin -
Around my neck it hung.
‘My moneys worth. My moneys worth.’
That thought in mind did stick,
And understanding then my quest
My very soul was sick.
On sunrise of the following day
I rose a different man
And bidding Cerennan farewell
My journey home began.
Rapidly and silently
I reached my journeys end
And pausing not for food or thought
For my love I did send.
‘Dear love,’ spoke I ‘for one full year
I searched at your behest,
But now I have the answer
To this final, mighty quest.’
‘You said to me, to prove my love,
“Show my worth to thee”
And gave me then this small gold coin:
Which I return to thee.’
‘For now I know that my own worth
Is not my moneys gleam,
For I am worth exactly that
Which those who love me deem.’
Holding me then to her breast
I felt my spirits rise.
‘You did all that I asked of thee,
And now shall have your prize.’
Thus calling clerics unto us
My love was wed to me,
And I was blessed with that last quest:
And so I end my lengthy tale
Of how my youth was burned,
And those who hearken unto me
May there be lessons learned.
If you have loves and oft they ask
Some hardened task of thee,
Make no mistake they seek to break
Your youth’s naivety.
So ladies test fiancées well
And young men gird your loins!
And always as a wedding pledge
Give your love Three Gold Coins.
That’s it then – another NaPoWriMo complete. Thanks for visiting and if you’ve enjoyed these bits, do let me know, it’s always hard to write in a vacuum :) . I’ll be spending the next 11 months rewriting and redrafting the poems posted from this year’s challenge into something more worthy and I look forward to seeing you all again next year. Best wishes ~Dazza x.