Absent Friends

My Ode to Wee Jamie was an attempt to create a memorial to absent friends, and it’s sung at appropriate times, I’m told, and generally appreciated.  I was trying to find a way to expand it when the tune for a chorus popped into my head, so I solicited tales of those of the Kingdom who have died, and began crafting a verse for each.  The rule is simple: tell a tale of when they lived, and mention their name.  I hope this may grow and spread.

December 2021

We are old in years, full of wealth in friends
Our Kingdom is more than a Crown and law
For a life may reach far beyond its ends
In legends of all who have gone before.

Sing, sing to our absent friends
Years or minutes, it’s all the same
On this secret our hope depends:
No one is gone while we speak their name.

In a strange old town, full of noise and din
Lord Gryffon reached out his mighty hand
To his door I’m welcomed, invited in
A brother at home in a distant land.

Surely Artos, named for the fearsome bear,
Must terrify any who dare draw nigh?
But like drumbeats filling the festive air
His welcome expanded to fill the sky.

Lady Constance stood for the town of Stowe
(Though literally standing was not her deal)
Though her home was far and the road was slow,
She danced like the wind on her silver wheels.

“Did I hear you yearn for a suit of mail?”
Lord Harald invited me all along
“Come and join the fun in our fairytale
“And learn some new words to a well-known song.”

Do you wish to learn of the darker arts?
Of poison and witchery, by the stars?
Lady Aveline captured so many hearts
(And kept them all safe in a row of jars.)

It was Cillian, carelessly left behind,
Who journeyed alone to the Festival gates
With a song, I’m sure, in his crafty mind
Too kind to inflict it upon his mates!

“Such is life,” Francesca Cellini claimed:
“Good friends, good wine, red frogs for a treat.”
“Who dies with the most fabric wins the game!”
And she set, with her life, such a goal to beat.

If the feast has soup named for Oriel
You’re wisely advised to fill up your bowl
And you’ll find it fragrant and sweet as well:
Like its maker, it warms every passing soul.

Baron Everarde slept, yet he showed his skill
By fighting a dragon that roamed at night
Though its roars were heard up and down the hill
His lady (with earplugs) was quite all right.