ⒸThe Noble Knight

Here is a saga that I wrote it for my Grand Children.

 

A mighty Lord, The Baron Du Prey,

Was fighting a war, oh, so far away

That it took a year to march and ride

With his faithful equerry by his side.

Over land and sea, through day and night

Through flood and famine, just to fight

In the Holy Land, in The Third Crusade

Where Christianity’s birth was saved.

 

His daughter loved a serving boy,

Who made her laugh brought her joy,

Played hide and seek in autumn mist

Stole kisses in their lovers tryst.

The boy was warned, he paid no heed

Then, love is blind to class and creed

The damsel, young, untouched but bold

By her chaperone was also told.

 

It could not last, soon word got out

The Baron, he did scream and shout.

The boy was banished from the land

His possessions burned, out of hand

The weeping girl was taken away

To a hermitage, to think and pray.

Guarded by a, drool jowled, beast,

Giving daily penitence to a priest.

 

The serving boy, through a friend, left a note,

The damsel cherished each word that he wrote.

It told her to wait, that he would return,

It told of his love, which made her just yearn

For the day he would come and hold her, so tight

Before taking her off, into the night.

She carried the note right next to her heart,

That way, she and he were never apart.

 

In exile, the boy fought with skill and desire.

The County Sheriff made him a Squire

Then sent him off to fight for the Lord

Against the mighty Saracen horde,

Soon he was fighting the bloodiest sport

Lost limbs, deep cuts where scimitars caught.

He’d found his vocation, he loved a good fight

The King saw this too and dubbed him a Knight

 

Arise Young Knight, said the King to the boy

You now are a man and your skills I’ll employ

On the field of honour to fight the good fight,

We must put the mighty Saladin to flight.

The King gave him title to vast tracts of land

Named him Sir Jasper and offered his hand

‘Sire, I’m your servant, my life is yours,’

He said, kissing the hand to tumultuous applause.

 

Alas, the poor Baron, he died on the field,

Defeated, yet, still he refused to yield.

So brave, he shouted his love of the Lord

As he felt the cold steel of the Saracen sword.

His daughter was told, yet she shed not a tear

For the father she’d grown to hate and to fear.

In solitude she waited and, reread the note

Whilst a drunken priest started to gloat.

 

Sir Jasper witnessed the Baron being killed

Then reflected on all the blood he had spilled

In the name of the King, in the name of the Lord

It made him feel sick so he put up his sword

Then he determined to find the love of his life

The damsel he’d vowed to take as his wife

The King gave him leave and wished him well.

As he rode to the West, the tears started well.

 

After five long years at his home he arrived

Only to find he had been deprived

By the Baron of chattel; his worldly goods,

Either burned by fire or thrown in the woods.

Saddened, he left, with squire and page

Sought out the Sheriff, the Judge and sage.

To enquire of his truelove; the Baron’s heir

Alas, she was gone but they knew not where.

 

‘Be warned oh noble Knight, take care.

That damsel that you seek; oh, so fair,

With flaxen locks draped to her waist

Outspoken, loud; yet, strangely, chaste.

Is guarded by a fearsome beast

Who’s allegiance is only to the priest.

Who holds the key to the damsel’s cell,

In five long years, he has guarded it well.’

 

The words were spoke by a serving wench,

Who cleaned the scraps from the Sheriff’s bench.

‘Girl! You are speaking out of turn.’

Said the Sheriff, in a voice so very stern,

That the girl would have fallen to the floor

Had she not found support on a nearby door.

‘Hold, my Lord,’ said the Noble Knight.

‘How does she know of my truelove’s plight?’

 

The Sheriff said, ‘speak, what do you know?’

‘Please my Lord Sheriff, twas a long time ago.

I worked for the Baron and know of her plight

I watched as they took her off in the night.

She is lodged in a dungeon near Verity Hill

The gossip is, she is wasting there still.’

‘Who is this priest and where does he preach?

Of the Sheriff the Noble Knight did beseech.

 

‘Excuse me Sir,’ said the Noble Knight’s page.

‘I know of this man, he’s not priest nor sage,

Just a man, employed by the Nobility

Tasked with protecting the virginity

Of their daughters whilst they fight the horde

Who would bring down the Temple of our Lord.

Should Knight or Nobleman fall in battle

He sells their daughters and all their chattel’

 

‘Quickly, page, my horse if you will

We ride at once to Verity Hill.’

The page leapt up to obey his master

Encouraged by shouts of, ‘faster, faster’

Astride his steed, with sword and mace

The Knight set off at lightning pace.

The Sheriff and page followed, behind

Praying the damsel they would find.

 

The Knight soon came to Verity Hill

The mist was thick, the air was still.

No morning chorus or bird on wing

No stag, no fox no living thing.

He checked his steed to a steady pace

Relieved he had both sword and mace

To protect him from what lay ahead;

A fraud in a frock and a beast of dread.

 

Deep in the mist rose a mighty roar

It chilled Sir Jasper to the core

His steed could sense some unseen foe

Dug in his heels and refused to go

Any further into the greying gloom

Lest he and his rider meet their doom.

The Noble Knight, trusting his steed

Dismounted, then his horse did lead

 

To a mighty oak, a magnificent tree

Which he climbed, the better for him to see

Over the mist, to his truelove’s prison

The sight of which caused a frisson

Which shook the man from head to toe,

A feeling only a Knight would know.

The place was dark, evil and grim

His heart went out to the maiden within.

 

As he descended his horse did scream

The Knight looked down on an awful scene

His faithful steed was being tormented

By a beast in a rage and clearly demented.

The Knight was soon back on the ground

But, no sign of his weapons could be found.

He called on the beast, ‘let go of my steed

It is not his flesh on which you’ll feed.’

 

The beast looked up, the horse broke free

Blood was flowing from neck and knee.

The beast then looked toward the Knight

With eyes as dead as a windless kite.

In a bush, Sir Jasper spied his sword

Caught high and fast by scabbard cord.

The creature wheeled, came at a rush

The Knight leapt high into the bush.

 

As his fingers closed around the sword

He used all the strength he could afford

When, on the ground, the Knight did land

His trusted sword was in his hand.

The beast lashed out with tooth and claw

Bellowing from gaping maw

The Knight fell back, his sword his shield

Determined he would never yield.

 

Back and forth, round and round,

Each giving and then gaining ground.

The fight went on into the night.

Sir Jasper slipped, feinted right

The beast leapt in, then seemed to float

Sir Jasper’s sword was in it’s throat

He pulled it free, the blood did flow

The sword came down; the killing blow!

 

His battle won, the Knight looked ‘round

To find his horse, prone, on the ground

Please God no, not my faithful steed

The Noble Knight was heard to plead.

Though alive, it was bloodied and torn

The Knight stayed with it till the dawn

He was joined by his page who lit a fire

To guide in the Sheriff and his squire.

 

At noon they rode towards the retreat

Unsure of what they were about to meet.

The page stayed back to tend the steed

Clean it’s wounds, give it feed.

A derelict castle was the retreat

A place where lonely souls could meet

To free their minds of confusion

By spending time in seclusion.

 

The Knight called out when they got there

‘False monk, where is my Lady fair?’

A slurred reply came from the gate

‘The woman’s not here, you’re too late!’

‘She is the lady to whom I’ll wed,

If you have sold her I’ll have your head!’

Replied the Knight, his anger high

‘Now bring her here or you will die!’

 

‘You scare me not for I have a beast,

On you and your friends it will feast.

So do not threaten me Sir Knight

Tis you who will soon be put to flight!’

The Knight replied by throwing high

A missile up into the sky.

It’s landing filled the priest with dread,

A familiar though, now severed head.

 

Bounced, then rolled up to the priest

The lifeless head of his precious beast.

‘So, false priest, hear what I say

Bring out my Lady Helen Du Prey.’

Shouted the Knight as he rode to the gate

Whilst silently praying he wasn’t too late.

Then came a voice that made his heart drum

‘Jasper, my truelove, I knew you would come.’

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