[Bards] A Lady's Freedom

Milo LeRoux brigdon at tvcc.edu
Fri Jul 18 12:21:57 PDT 2003

    Huzaah! Well done, Lady Madelina!
    When I have a little more time, I will pour over it more closely and
send more detailed feedback but this is a _delightful_ piece and is very
well written.

    Most admirably,

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jane Sitton" <lymadelina at yahoo.com>
To: <bards at ansteorra.org>
Sent: Friday, July 18, 2003 12:43 PM
Subject: [Bards] A Lady's Freedom

I have recently finished this piece, though I feel it
could use some polishing.  Please reply with
constructive criticism, if you have any.  Many thanks.

A Lady's Freedom by Lady Madelina de Lindesay

The men in my family aren't fighters.  They shy from
the sword - how they run!
I don't know if you feel like I do, but it's time now
that something was done.
I'm weary from constant oppression.  The raiders, they
come in the night.
I'm leaving my spinning and weaving.  I'm girding my
loins for the fight!

My father, an old man in dotage, too feeble to notice
I'm gone -
He thinks I'm my years buried mother.  I wonder how
he'll carry on?
My husband, a mild-mannered milksop, he hides and he
trembles in fright.
The one son I bore him, an infant, is safe with his
nursemaid tonight.

I've sent my handmaid for the scissors.  My long
chestnut mane will soon fall.
I'm binding my breasts with tight linen.  I'm sounding
the clarion call.
The blacksmith has sharpened a broad sword, years
rusty from lack of good use.
He's polished it up to a bright shine.  It's ready to
do some abuse.

I've strapped on my dead brother's armor, formed back
when he still was a youth.
It fits fairly well, that I must say.  It's time that
it finally saw use.
The stable boy holds tight the bridle as I pull myself
onto my mare.
I know I'm not tested in battle, but those villains
had better beware.

The rogues may have more strength to call on.  They're
trained how to fight from a lad.
But they've never faced hordes of young mothers -
we're scared, but what's more, we are mad.
I've shielded my horse in a thicket.  I'm scouting for
signs of those knaves.
They've set up their camp in my valley, and hidden
themselves in dark caves.

My eyes can't believe what I've spotted - the leader
of this brigand band.
I recognize him by his tabard.  He asked long ago for
my hand.
I tell all my friends and my vassals this battle is
mine, now I know.
They must wait behind in their armor, as I change to
garments of gold.

Now softly, I enter the campsite.  The sentry calls
out for his chief.
I wait patiently, eyes averted.  Though looking
demure, I'm the thief.
My heart, how it hammers a cadence - like a blacksmith
forging a knife.
I'm putting my plan into action, though it just might
cost me my life.

Now my long lost love stands before me.  I thought he
had died on Crusade!
When he heard I had married his brother, that's when
he took up the blade!
He leads me into the twilight, and holds me like he
did before.
If I give in, then I'd lose the battle, but gain back
those sweet days of yore.

Now I ask you, what choice would you make if your
fondest dream, you could regain?
Take freedom, and flee with your lover?  Or avenge all
the meek he has slain?
I follow his torch to the cavern where his silken bed
gleams in the light.
I've made up my mind to surrender, but only for one
final night!

Then closely, we two joined our faces.  You wives
surely know what I mean.
His labored breath, now coming softly, draws suddenly
in, sharp and keen.
See, my veiling held secret a dagger in case of a too
close attack.
In his haste to free me of small clothes, he didn't
see I'd stab his back!

Now freedom is just what you make it.  Your heart
surely says what is right.
I gave it, and took it in bargain, so I sing to my
daughter at night.

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