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Bardic Arts

Cynagua's Bloody Bastard

An Homage by
Owen ap Morgan
[Copyright © 2008 by Earl P. Jones
Permission granted for publication on the West Kingdom History web site.]

An heir to all Cynagua's lands has duly been invested,
Well-polished by his lady's hands, with strength in battle tested.
He seems a prince among all men in grace and noble manner,
And soon to be crowned Prince again beneath the black swan's banner.
Yet there may be a few of late, among the foes he mastered,
Who storm and rage at cruel fate and curse the bloody bastard (sword).

Oh, once and twice and yet again, we heard the same old story
Of fighters interrupted in their quest for fame and glory;
Who, fighting for the coronet out on the field of honor,
Discovered themselves sore beset by one they faced upon her.
For though they charged or though they stood, held back or struck the faster,
They came to realize they could not beat that bloody bastard (sword).

The world in which we live is hard, and so we still need heroes
To stand before us, watch and guard, that we need never fear foes.
So hail Arundel's doughty son, the Marc we set before us,
And let his praise be sung by one and all in ringing chorus.
If you would keep Cynagua's land from wrath and war's disaster,
It helps to find the guiding hand upon a bloody bastard (sword)!

Author Notes:
"At Cynagua May Coronet, 2008, Marc de Arundel stood victorious to the greater glory of his lady, Arianwen ferch Morgan. While standing by the field observing some of the combat, I overheard two gentles discussing the day, with particular reference to how overpowering Marc had been with the 'bastard sword' he used during all of his bouts I witnessed, and possibly the entire day. After he prevailed, in the approximate words I used to introduce the piece below, my muse "showed up drunk, grabbed me by the throat, bitch-slapped me and said 'WRITE!!'" The following was written between dinner and the first rounds of the Bard of Cynagua competition, and performed for the assembled royalty and the Lord and Lady of the Swan shortly following that competition. (It seemed to go over well -- I'm not dead.)

"Performance note: The word 'sword' concluding each stanza is meant to be pronounced after a /slight/ hesitation and in a slightly lowered tone - as if an afterthought." -- Owen ap Morgan

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