The Song of Dalsarion: Thirteen

Posted on 20/11/2011 by



‘He has been practicing with un-tamed fervour,
this ballad of un-known lover!
I say, such romance. Let us listen…’
Mithril himself falling quiet.

The Chattering Hall–at night silent, open to the stars;
though on a hot summer or spring day like that,
roofed with gentle feathers and the talk of birds.

—This was to be Dalsarion’s first true audience.
The first audience who knew
he was nothing except an amateur trying for more.
And stagnant through worry, must be the Traitors
to whom he really sung it, in hope it may give them further cause,
may stir their ear.
This was quite another song,
than Mithril had thought to hear—

My lute quivered with an amazing grace.

‘I painted a picture of you with feathers
and leaves;
Bright-lined things,
the last of all the Summer times.

These portraits; they tried to cast,
that same long-lingering spell
you’d sighed within me.
All my seasons looked on…

Your Autumn’s uncaring gaze—
shrugged me off, now how alone
my Golden-Green lyrics
—to you—to you, unwanted.
Turned, twinned and curled;
Nature now wearing your livery
proudly, those colours
that have become of my heart.
Taken up so swiftly, fall now
hollow thunder beneath/benight
those many
marching feet.

I would call a war
–for you
–for you
To help in my case for your Autumn;
chastised, her so well guarded,
hidden, under that manly blanket.
Of our now frozen forest.

I am robbed of, with no sight with which to say;
you so, should hold me dear.

I feared, that now
under silence, none,
aye none, dare speak—our Patron Burning
High, she too tends her tongue, swiftly–
that we may wither-hard like the trees.

That this war promised, could
take my passion from you.
We would fall together, to each other
into the arms of our brothers.
Your lovers, your citizens,
Fallen in the chase for you.
Those leaves would have excuse,
then, to be stained in that red season.

We fools fought.

But I saw ahead, here winter
in it, seeking warmth,
would instead bring us back


As the kingdom’s shadows put down their hands.
When the last notes bid adieu.

Tears were suffered by all those peoples there.
An un-named love—not un-know—-lamented.

Lover of the Autumn Empire,
and greater the fool for it.

The tale of every great Mother,
whispering caution to her sons.

That the People of the Autumn Empire should,
Love and know that love was forever.

Arms, squeezed together and in pain,
audience holding themselves tightly.

This we know. Dalsarion—who had schemed his part—
searched the audience for their evidence.

The room waited in thoughtful silence.
After all, it is a song, best heard in echo.

But still any time must come to a point,
the lust for action, and voices, in sob did end it.

The crowd looked on in itself.
In time with this, two reluctant steps were made.

Men, holding masks of considered assent,
come forward wishing a private audience.

With the Emperor.

This was allowed.

‘But! They are traitors Mithril.
They wanted to start a war.
This is why my song, sung, was such.
And? No mention of ill their deed?’

‘Aye. It would be most dishonourable
for one to state in words<em> how</em> and <em>that</em>
they had wished to betray one,
would it not?
Better yes? To make as little of yourself as one may.
Be silent and be penitent.
So, his crime may be excused–
but to <em>speak</em>, and to give articulation of un-manly intent,
this, we may never forgive.
He says his words? And to the victim,
they should as well be action.’

This was the end of discussion, so as we may not,
though inadvertently the case, cause any issue
or harm to a person.

It seemed I was to be rewarded. For what though,
was never mentioned…
But the favour of Kings, Princes and Emperors are not to be denied.
Nor do they ‘oft invite this denial.
I was showered with opportunities,
but none fit my desires.
Till one day after days of offerings, I was called
to see the Throne and make my heart’s wish true.

To assault my eyes when I entered, that Jaq’Oliean was there.
Who had avoided me, who wilted and, was uncertain upon seeing me.

I was bid come, closer and closer still.
Till my body was brushed by the floating hands of the Charaders.
I flinched and found them menacing. One grin, held, mutely by my ear.

And he said, his voice light, like a man who believes you listen:
‘I can give you anything
and I offer you much.
But none of it you take.
Guide me here:
I, for the first in history, do exceed defeat.
Only tell me, and it may be so.’
There, just like in a bed-time story
offering me riches, or truth.

With a glance, he sent the mummers marching.
Circled they, the prizes.
Or there mimed the deeds offered done,
or perhaps be bestowed.

I said:
‘You are most generous
He Who May Have No Peer of Grace,
yet once more, I may do naught but decline.
One thing beats my heart and,
in the middle of night, wakes me.
I may ask you, but is it in your power to give it?’

I’ll give those damn dancers credit though.
They made my words twist and turn well.

‘A kiss from your daughter, given freely is my ask.’

His head, held to side, in concentration is how he sat.
Watching the players act. And would not respond,
Until they had finish their part.
But upon his face, already, recognition of ask.

As they finished, with mighty precision did he look at me,
and turn his head to her. He said,
‘I do not think you’d want that.’

I watched and as they both turned from the other to my face,
their eyes fell.
And I knew from seeing my skipping mirrors,
that in their unaccustomed, most awkward of moves,
my face communicated that as well.

‘No. That is not fitting payment for you,
Dalsarion Snow-Mithril’s Son.
May I offer you better?
Would you be a knight? Wear light Elven armours
like glamours and be true?
This is good payment. More, fitting
and equal to your pains. Yes?’

My eyes never left hers. ‘Yes.’
* * * * *

To be a knight of Elven Empire, is to be:
Wrapped-all in ancient grace,
a warrior-poet, and lover–
eternal to kingdom and face–
to sovereignty, most delicate
is this calling. View sublime
it is we rise to, those few who a place
is given. And most final.

Generally one must also be an Elf.

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Posted in: Dalsarion, Paul