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~ A Lad He Learns ~      

A lad he learns, while at apron strings, in warrior's ways to play;

Her pots and pans and cooking spoons make his sword and shield today.

Mother’s brave little boy, building dreams of daring deeds again,

Following well-worn footsteps, first made by now forgotten men.

Their names may no longer be known, but their truths are ever told:

Still we praise the warrior's ways, of our defenders brave and bold.

The smith of a warriors' heart works soft ore, hammer’d hard and strong.

Life-threads brightly-spun from bronze, the bards have burnish’d with their song.

A youth he yearns a hero's name, by his worth to win one day.

He dreams of slaying dragons, and boasts he'll keep the trolls at bay.

Well above the warrior's bench, do heroes sit in honor's hall.

Calm, cunning, skill and loyalty: high examples held for all.

The smith of a hero's heart works valor's forge with fire and tong:

Life-threads drawn from heat-hard iron, the skalds stretch for us with song.

But few are the lives the Fates do spin with threads of hero's steel,

Some names still, have been saved for us, while Fortune yet winds her wheel.

Those hearts of legend and ancient rhyme to name a few I bid:

High-born Hector, Bold Beowulf, and the Spaniard known as Cid,

Noble Nevsky, Relentless Roland, Mighty Mac Cumhaill of Eire,

Siegfried Serpent's bane and Unwashed Harald with his hair so ‘fair.’

The youth yet finds—that the hero's path may be too hard to take;

The World can’t hold so many heroes as young men’s dreams would make.

So the smith of a knight's stout soul, softens hero's steel with grace,

And bolsters between his heart and deeds, his loyal lady's face.

A lady ‘twas, first that found, the secret of chivalry’s heart:

Steel, it should be tempered, made stronger by softening in part.

Humility and kind compassion, work warrior into knight,

Defender of the defenseless, following his lady's light.

For long ages have we listened to the lore of knights well known.

By what they endure and then decide, our deep ideals are shown.

We crave more than tales of triumph—tell us his “true-heart’s’’ story:

His best deeds, for others done, where he gains himself no glory.

Chivalry's path demands a stout soul, marked by the choices made,

To strike or spare: in balance, cruelty and compassion are laid.

The smith of a chivalric heart works hôher muot * and mind:

Life threads spun of silver bright, the Minnesinger have enshrined.

Who are chivalry's paragons? Whose names rise above mere men?

Richard with his lion’s-heart, Wolfram questing with sword and pen,

Arthur and his knights, Barbarossa—asleep ‘neath mountain vault,

The Marshal known as William, and Bayard who is ‘beyond fault.’

To his final breath the sworn-knight strives a better man to be;

In turn, lads will learn from the compassion and courage they see.

The ways marking “warrior” from “knight”, are in {.|normalize||why|.} and {.|normalize||how|.} we fight;

Not by the {.|normalize||defeated|.}, but by the {.|normalize||defended|.}, will we make right.

Few of us follow the path of hero, or of noble knight;

Still, strive we can, upon our quest with compassion as our light.

For chivalry is a path of choices, ever without end:

From every small place of power, there, the weak must we defend.

Grace gives us inspiration: humanity with humility.

Neither love nor hate can do as much to shape nobility.

The smith of a graceful heart, works with the basest metals best,

Strands of copper, lead and tin, still unsung, left to each—our test.

For Amanda:
Shaper of Chivalry,
True Embodiment of Grace & Inspiration
Cornelius von Rügen - 2020

* hôher muot = high ideals – high heart – strong spirit

Page last modified on June 05, 2021, at 04:03 PM