‘The Knight’ by Simon Bucher-Jones
Now what can irk, my Princess Fay
With brows drawn tight as any bow
The searing sun at high noon-day It glimmers low
What frets and pines, my Princess Fay
That is not soothed when Moons arise
And Stars in their flight pause and stay
To catch your eyes
I see a handprint on your arm
Where mortal hand once dared to thrill,
And on thy lips a ghostly charm,
It blushes still.
I met a Solder in the woods,
A solid man, a mortal born,
And armed he was with the cold, cold iron,
And pale horn
He made a garland for my head,
Of meadow sweet and dandelion;
I looked at him, and in his eyes,
I tasted time.
He set me on his saddle’s side,
And gazed upon me as we rode,
I sang the brambles from our path,
The earth un-hoe’d
I found him roots of relish sweet,
Guessing mayhap at mortal taste,
And woo’d him with a faltering word,
And seemly haste.
I took him to one of my bowers,
And there the time right glad we spent,
And if we speak of mortal towers,
Well towers were rent.
And afterwards the Soldier slept,
And, from his moans, he dreamed of wars,
But neither war nor dreams have swept,
Our fairie shores.
I know not what pale death and lies,
His wicked dreams cast at my feet,
I only know that when awoke, his eyes,
Mine, would not meet.
I saw his starved soul in his fears,
That could not see freedom from woe,
So sorrowfully and with tears,
I let him go.
And this is why I mourn the day
Although at night the Moons arise,
And Stars in their flight turn and stay
To dry my eyes.
Simon BJ with apologies to Keats.