Saturday, April 16, 2011

Promise the Second (National Poetry Month: Day 16)

Hear ye, hear ye, criers cry,
proclaiming far and wide,
Let it be known in the King's name
announced on every side:
We summon all Our subjects who
hold this Our kingdom dear
to gird themselves, to take up arms
and banish every fear.
A fortnight hence commemorates
the second passing year
since the horrid eve on which
Our daughter disappeared.
With passion and great eloquence
the heralds then retell
the mournful tale of tragic loss
this populace knows well.
'Tis not the princess only who
has not returned again;
the dragon ate each rescuer,
the kingdom's bravest men.
Few seek her now, for all have failed
as prophecy foretold,
yet still there's hope for one who is
strong, noble, good, and bold.
The woman who pronounced her fate
when she was nine days old
declared she'd one day rule as queen:
to this her father holds.
He promises great titles, wealth,
a wagon filled with gold,
the very crown from off his head:
there's nothing he'll withhold.
The proclamation being read
throughout the mourning land
reminds all that the man who saves
the princess wins her hand.
And so a few more haggard souls
head off to their sad fate.
They won't know who's the chosen one
until it's far too late.
Such things are hard for one to see
and harder to relate;
it's almost as though this foul beast
were keeping her as bait.
Even when facing dragon fire
and fear that it creates,
few men are there who can deny
conscience and king's dictates.
Fewer still will not be lured
by fame and all that is,
like beauty, wealth, glory or praise,
promised of princesses. . .

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