trobaire.org

a collection of literature from poets, bards, songwriters, and skalds in the SCA

Byram's Song

Poem (Canso): 
A score and five years from the blossom of Chivalry,
A year and a day since I first was a man,
I came to a fair field, and there I found tourney,
Knights in bright armor, and festival grand.
I saw there the Jongleur, I witnessed her singing,
I saw there the gold coins that flowed from their hands.
And there I saw promise, and there I found valor.
I vowed to make haste and my journey began.

I followed the Court now, I witnessed its pageant.
I gazed with wide wonder at sights to astound.
A King crowned in glory, a Queen of true beauty,
A Knight made through Chivalry, and tied to the Land.
I sought out the Queen and I courted her favor,
I sought out the King and sang him my song.
The King called me Kinsman, the Queen called me Jongleur,
The journey began now, the road now was long.

I begged then a boon of the Duke and his Lady,
Esquire would I be, to stand as his man.
St. Michael he heard me, the fates smiled upon me,
I knelt ‘fore the Duke with my hands in his hands.
I swore then my fealty; I gave them my homage,
Was girded with belt and was bidden to stand.
I gained then fine brothers, I gained then a family.
The journey a Race now, emboldened I ran.

For four or five years then I fought in his mesinee,
Gained honor and wisdom, and knightly renown.
I served at his table; I sang in his mead hall,
I fought at his side as he championed the Crown.
Then came I to Stephen, for Roads have their endings.
I knelt ‘fore the king and in new oath was bound.
And crowned with a Laurel, and cloaked in my Order
A new path was made, a new race had began.

I strove now for honor, I served as a vassal,
Took vavasours bound by my oath to the Crown.
I stood in the King’s Hall, and shouted His challenge,
In hauberk and helmet I Championed the Crown.
I threw down the gauntlet and thrice it was given,
I knelt and gave worship, behind them I stand.
Padraigin’s love Cuan, as doughty a sovereign
As fierce as a warrior in all of the land.

I stood on a mountain; I knelt and kept vigil,
Was bathed, and was clad in a robe of pure white.
I saw the sun rise there, St. Michael he heard me,
The chain and spurs golden, the belt of a Knight.
My arm it is ready, my heart is unburdened,
My sword still as keen as the day I took arms.
My Muse flies before me, the road it still beckons,
The journey still calls me, the road is still long.