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Bardic Arts

The Rules of the List
by
Margrethe Astrid Ravn
April 3, AS XXXIII (1999)

Princess Maren did command
the Rules of List from my own hand
so all this gallant company
could refrence it to memory.
First and foremost, the marshalls warn:
this game we play is known to harm
the unaware. So if you bruise,
no fault on us; you paid your dues.
Make sure, before your challenge bout,
your fighters' card has not run out.
We want this tournament fough first
and not be tried again, or worse.
Then the next thing you must do:
the Crown need say your cause is true.
Ask your Prince if you may fight,
and like as not t'will be all right.
Next, before the fighting starts,
be doubly sure you have your parts
of armour. For if one be lost,
out from the Lists you will be tossed.
The Crown, your weapon, must approve
before upon the field you move.
A weapon with too strong a clout
will not. Thus rules Pandy-bats out.
And then, the most important point,
lest temper set you out of joint:
these are your friends, not enemies;
so treat all with due courtesies.
The Lists cannot be stopped to find
each errant Knight, nor Squire kind.
Thus if you stop for mid-day snooze
and miss your bout, my friend; you lose.
T'is most import this be obeyed:
no sword nor spear with steely blade;
for not a cheerful medic found
where lies real corpsed on the ground.
No javelineer nor archer's flights
will be abused for marshall rights;
nor should you in your anger throw
a sword or shield upon your foe.
And last, lest you could chance forget
for whom you strive for Coronet,
salute the one who favors you;
their heart with yours, their champion true.


Written at/for Mists Spring Coronet:

"Invocation piece.

This one was like pulling teeth. Maren asked me to write the rules of the lists in "Chaucerian style;" which I interpreted as rhymed couplets. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't start until about a week before the event. As Fredrick of Holland is fond of saying "My muse went off in another direction as soon as I asked her for help." Fortunately, I didn't have to come up with verses that had to be inspirational, for I would much rather make people laugh than yawn." -- Margrethe Astrid Ravn


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