Ancient Poetry: The Great Northern War

Eleanor de Vallonboie
Originally Published in The Moonstone, 1987.

Amidst the fireflies and flowers
The flower of Malagentia
Met the fire of bold Seashire
And won to many a loud “Vivat!”
Lord Arlof proved a doughty knight
As many a Seaschuan would swear,
Spicy hot though they may fight,
His sword kissed champions good night
While others roasted on the spear.
Of Malagentian allies
Who with the Veassllurds did prove
That prowess is a peerless prize
Which in woods and pass will move,
Puissant arms to victory
In battles honor would approve.

In the sciences and art
The Lady Shrew’s sweet almond tart
Pleased the palate of the Queen
With Malagentian cuisine,
While at the feast of Ariel
And her companions, all ate well.

Deft with needle and with thread,
Seashire sewed herself ahead
With garb and favors, banners too,
Done with skill to beauty true.
From Vatnaskvadstadir came the song
Whose tuneful humor sung among
The merry bardic circlers won,
While with many a dreadful pun
Seashire showed a quicker wit,
Picquing Cousin Ratt a bit.
So in sciences anth art
Seashire won the better part.
Thus when the first day was done
The war was tied, one point to one.

Upon a sunny lawn
Lord Caradoc of Caernarvon
Set the archery targets out
So all could shoot both rounds and clout
And test with skillful archery
To whom would go the victory.
Many arrows swift and true
Straight to many targets flew,
And when the shafts all counted were
Malagentia won the war
With a final 2 – 7 score.

So with courtly chivalry
Lord Andrew ceded victory
And before the court of war
Pledged his word that nevermore
Would Seashire fight her former foes
But rather would, if need arose,
Engage them with such might as might
Invite the East Kingdom to fight.
As a token of his pledge
He then produced some garlic fudge,
Which, with valor beyond the call
Of duty, that brave seneschal
Lord Deormund quickly ate
While graciously he dubbed it great.
So this merry war did tend
To a sweet if smelly end
That surely proved one time again:
The sword is mightier than the pen.


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