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Bardic Arts

"Martin the Temperate"
by
William the Lucky

"Is that Martin, mace in hand, out on the field of battle?"
"Truth! His tabard fore and aft bears likenesses of cattle."
"But the shield he bears can't be his oval of renown . . ."
"Nonetheless it's he, M'lord, though soon to be struck down.

"To the far off Pensic War has Martin lately travelled.
In those eastern lands, I fear, his cause became unravelled.
Like a sea of mud it was, 'neath rain and wind and thunder;
That he made it home at all is truly cause for wonder.

"Martin fought both well and long upon that distant mire,
Shivered thorugh the sodden night sans benefit of fire.
But disaster held its hand until he quit that field:
Heading homeward to the West he went and lost his shield.

"In a forest far away lie scattered bits of armor;
Several more now decorate the mantle of some farmer.
Similar must be the fate of Martin's famous shield:
Gone beyond the ken of men and ne'er to be revealed."

"Truly shows a gallant heart to fight so handicapped"
Look you there! A mighty blow and Martin is decap'ed."
"'Twas for him a rotten month, the whole of this September;
Nobly did he bear it tho', and that all will remember."


From a collection of fighter poems titled Valhalla. This is from the section titled: "The Lighter Side of Dying".

"Long ago, the West Kingdom bards decided to produce poems for every fighter in each crown lists. We carried this on for several years before finally faltering. A large number of bards were required, since the lists kept getting larger and eventually the effort involved wore us out. Even so, we published two volumes of the best of the fighter poems. I was president of the college of bards of the West Kingdom at that time and I regard that effort as perhaps the most satisfying thing I ever achieved in the SCA." -- Steven MacEanruig


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