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Bardic Arts

Isabel and Melan
by
Elsa Saxenkammer
(AS XXXVII)

And shall I sing of Isabel the maid who is so striking fair
Who has a face in which is caught the beauty of a summer morn?
She sits alone by the water's edge as day fades into night
And plays a tune upon the pipe she carved out of a reed
Which echoes in its melody the babbling of the spring
And all around her leaves of red and gold begin to fall.

As summer's coming to a close the crisp air tastes of Fall
At a distance she can hear the small folk leaving from the fair
Having sold the crops and fattened pigs they've tended since the spring
They'll sleep tonight beside the road and head home in the morn
But at dusk come fading echoes of the music of a reed
And they'll sit and tell the story of the Lady and the Knight

The Lady Isabel, they say was promised to the Knight
And he told her father that he'd come to wed her in the Fall
She was lovely as a lily flower and offered thoughtful rede
Solving arguments with judgment that was wise as it was fair
Never shirking in her duties, rising early every morn
With a smile of gladness to be needed from her bed she'd spring

She met Melan the shepherd, they say, sometime in the Spring
With his eyes as blue as sapphires and his hair as black as night
And they'd often meet each other in the sun kissed early morn
And with a cry of purest joy into his arms she'd fall
And all summer they would sit and talk and eat their simple fare
And the Lady taught her lovely love'd shepherd boy to read.

It was he who taught her how to find the music in a reed
And that finer than the finest wine was water from a spring
And that if true love has found you, you can live on simple fare
And that being a fine lady doesn't mean you'll love a knight
And she thought to run away with him as summer turned to Fall
For should she lose Melan she knew her heart would always mourn

Alas! For Lady Isabel the small folk always mourn
For her secret love was found out and her father's men gave rede
That a shepherd so presumptuous ought to have a tragic fall
And they cast him from the cliff down to the rocks about the spring
Because he dared to love the lady who was promised to a knight
And the knight had his wife blinded so she'd think no other fair

So Isabel shall mourn as she sits beside her spring
Playing on her pipe of reed as the day fades into night
A song of Melan's fall and of the loss of all things fair



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