Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Field Battle, Pennsic XVII

By Master Hector of the Black Height

Ebb and flow, ebb and flow
Wave on rocks, wash and falter
Wave of honour, wave of tears
Fell for friends far lost and gone

Like the waves they lined that day
Wave and wave, steel and sinew
Coursed to crash on rocks and crags
That lined the breach they hoped to lop

Like the waves they laughed that day
Sea-dew sparkle on sunlit steel
Stood they, waves in serried ranks
Like the tide, turned east to roar

Carthage's son stood firm the first
Seaman, soldier, wave-point aimed
With marines and soldiers many
Poised to pounce, lines flowing free

Followed Aeden, long-armed fighter
Gray-beard girt in steel and arms
Cap of waves, the warrior captain
Waiting walk on blooded foam

Came the morning, forth the many
Waves all tumbling towards the east
Wave on wave behind fair Freemen
Signed to spend themselves full well

Came the tide surge, came cruel battle
Waves and troughs, rude crash and roar
Forward Carthage! On Kincora!
On to Eastrealm's point and edge

Towering wave cap, poised to tumble
But the broken rhythm
Ruined the symmetry of the tide race
Pierced on points of Eastern shore

Vain the struggle, and yet valiant
Wave on wave enfold, not free
Elandris fallen, foemen facing
Wounds before him, marines close by

Wave on wave, then waves fell on them
Trident seas of spears unchallenged
Lost was Grimwulf, then Alasdair
Keening Shinan standing o'er him

Roared Rhys Mordwyn, well-spring warrior
Roared o'er crashing sword and spear
"On Trimarans, On Merkfalans
"Come and race the tide today!"

Surged the east, scourged the coast
Glandydd fell, his steel still singing
As he fell 'midst many comrades
Northern waves lapped eastern legs

Forward Aeden, laughing graybeard
Saw his time come, met the moment
Gleeful captain, wave at full course
Meeting fate his wounds in front

Eastrealm circle all around them
Fate washed o'er them, fore and back
Cast was Edward far like flotsam
Lone and lanced, to fight and fall

Cast on rocks was Northern mettle
Rocks of iron, rocks of gold
Shoni's fate fell with King's guardsmen
Tide pool caught 'midst towering crags

Slain from Skraeling was their finest
Cry, for Cordigan sings no more
Shed your tears in distant Steinbach
For Northern foemen felled and still

There fell all who came campaigning
Surged in file to meet their fate
Ruddy ripples reached for succour
Distant wavelets skirt the shore

Ebb and flow, ebb and flow
Waves on rocks, wash and falter
Waves of honour, wave of tears
Fallen for the drear day gone

(copyright Arthur McLean 1991-2000)

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