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      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2009 edited
     
    Older than kings, these stones of Blacksilke
    They stand against tyrants and those of that ilk
    Prepared to greet thine enemies, a fierce welcome to thine foes
    When Lord Reuven ruled in Blacksilke Tower
    No strife or want made pleasure sour

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley", they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    The boats sailed out from Capablance and rode low in the water,
    Sailors steered for Macalelon, while spears sharpened blades for slaughter
    The news came to an islet, the news came to a shore,
    The news came to the King's own man and knocked at his chamber door

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley", they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    The marshall called at Cladich, "Hie to your King at Sieghere!"
    Then all the men of Cladich burst out with an answering cheer
    Gauntlets on fists, raised hands in pledge:
    To defend the land from pillage, to save the village thatch
    To protect the fair queen's strand of pearls and a child's cabbage patch.

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley", they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    The King rode with his banners, having polished his battle crown,
    Rode with his bards and scholars and all knights of great renown.
    Reuven rode with his column, having kissed his wife farewell,
    Rode with his friends and his brothers and the keys to the Tower bell

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley", they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    They crossed the Imble and the far spits of sand
    Through layer of dust saw boats near to land
    Sails in sharp angles on flat summer's sky
    The King slipped back on a side-shuffling steed
    And his marshall grew grim at this faltering lead

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley", they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    Along the little sand shores, the troops pressed close in muster
    A jingle, stamp, snort, whistle, soft blares in ceasing bluster
    Tensely leaning forward, and in their waiting on the mark
    Trying not to see their King was white, moon white beneath his dark

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley", they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    Slap! Great gulping slaps, of planks falling to the ocean
    Falling quickly from each ship, churning silence into motion
    "Look to your King for the charge, wait for his command"
    But the armies pull out from the wet, and splash themselves to dry
    While still, against his side, the King's signal hand does lie

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley", they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    The marshall bent to whisper, hoarse, close to the kingly ear,
    "Hold us not a moment more, or of the water they'll be clear!"
    Like lightening to dry timber, no time to see the start
    Down through the tree tops blazing, and before it the flying hart.

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley", they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    Away, away, the King has flown and all his banners follow
    Away, away, half the army goes, leaving a core all hollow
    A shout across the ranks and the Marshall tried to rally
    He is down in the dust at the hill-line, where the sand turns into rock
    And there is nothing left but a retreat to run, in amazéd shock

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley", they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    The tower at Neil's manor stood still against the flight
    And the keystones of its belfry arch reflected the setting light
    Reuven bent in the saddle and turned his destrier south
    Headed for the knotted rope and the bass bell's mouth

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley", they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    The sun went down on the armies and with it strange tent pegs
    And the northern shoreline quivered under the rough shod legs
    While by his red-trimmed tent side the invader sat in peace
    And the fleeing Cladich riders dropped down to a straggled bed
    Broken across the country, all those who were not dead

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley", they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    But Reuven bound his broken arm to his aching side
    And straight on like a Summoned man, knowing not to fight the tide
    He rode on south and southward with Neil's tower as a guide
    Rode for hope and homeland across the river plain wide

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    They rolled the bodies from their path and anchored ships to land
    And having fixed a beachhead camp upon the pinkened sand
    The invaders turned to Sieghere's sight to chase the bleak king's rout
    Chase the wounded soldiers down and hound them through the trees
    Chase the harvest from the fields and spoil every skep of bees

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    At the bottom of Neil's tower, Reuven fitted key to lock
    Wending up the darkening stairs all encased in rock
    He found the Bright One guarding the middle tower door
    Gave him key and watchword and passed by another floor

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    To the growling dogs, he spoke orders clear and spaced
    And still went climbing further as he steadfastly raced
    Past the wardens, through the arches, up toward light and air
    Six hundred steps, one thousand steps, two thousand steps his climb
    Sliding keys in keyholes and slip stepping midst the grime

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay

    They sang in feral couplets as they torched the gorse
    Laughed at fleeing men and scream of injured horse
    A line of sword in forward march with none to stand before it
    As the cold defeat of dawn turned to deaths by tree torch lit

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they mourn
    Scarlet and miniver from the King's shoulders torn

    Crawling through a ditch for protection from the flame
    Limping toward a village on spear slashed legs gone lame
    Riding for the castle to warn their kith and kin
    Hiding from his bannermen as he threw away his crown
    All the soldiers in the armies heard the sound as it came down

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they mourn
    Scarlet and miniver from the King's shoulders torn

    It sounded on the hillsides, and by the Imble's bed
    It ran on rock, on forest, on the mountains where goats fed
    Ringing long, then ringing short, a summons in the sounding
    Not a sweet or flitting tune, but a war dance's pounding

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they cry
    "Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders shall lie!"

    The climbing of the tower was no oft accomplished feat
    But from memory or fable, ears recognized the beat
    The army captains knew it form their days spent learning code
    And the quarry master knew it as a baby's lullaby
    They heard the ringing rhythms being to slowly die

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they cry
    "Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders shall lie!"

    The invading general heard it fade and confidently smiled
    Thinking that the ceasing sound was a quick quelled defiance mild
    Ignorance not knowing the importance of that bell
    Not sensing in the stillness a strong and silent yell

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," it rang
    "Scarlet and miniver from the King's shoulders shall hang!"

    Old Fulsham pulled his stave off of the pegs in the wall
    Whistled to his mastiff and strode to answer the call
    Gwyndeith told the recruits at Cladich to saddle every mount
    The fisherfolk took nets and filleting knives when they sailed -
    The summoners packed quill and Kingstone and walked forth all veiled

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they sang
    "Scarlet and miniver from the King's shoulders shall hang!"

    Reuven lent against the ashlar as he worked his way down the stairs
    The guard fell silent in behind him in quiet, deadly pairs
    The Bright One nestled his quiver in its battle lay
    And to the tower courtyard they streamed through all the day

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they sang
    "Scarlet and miniver from the King's shoulders shall hang"

    Against the flows arriving, the battle bands departed
    As steel clawed terriers among the horde they darted
    Harrying the edges of the Sieghere pointed march
    The army subtly turned as it sought an easy passage
    Turned into the canyons and down the road to the Tower Cage

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they sang
    "Scarlet and miniver from the King's shoulder shall hang."

    The ranks at the tower assembled to await the foe
    Some had fought already, limbs aching from each blow
    Some were fresh and fit and aching from forced wait
    And none among the grouping knew their days' end fate

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they sang
    "Scarlet and miniver from the King's shoulders shall hang."

    Fulsham led the young and swift, any nimble in hand and foot
    Armed them with staff and cauldron and blackened their faces with soot
    Along the narrow ridges that he knew like an old, old song
    They climbed in stealthy silence and the great dog padded behind
    As high above the wider path their slick shale track did wind

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they sang
    "Scarlet and miniver from the King's shoulders shall hang."

    Reuven held the watchword behind tight pursèd lips
    The invaders came on faster, pursued by tormenting nips
    The army stood near breathless to hear beyond the river's mutter
    Amid the Bright One's fletching, a daring breeze did flutter

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they sang
    "Scarlet and miniver from the King's shoulders shall hang."

    When the word was given, Gwyndeith blew the horn
    Fulsham and his mountaineers let loose the stones they'd torn
    Chased them down the slopes with hot streams of boiled pitch
    And then they clambered after to cut off all retreat
    While from the Tower side came the drum march's beat

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," it throbbed
    "Scarlet and miniver from the King's shoulders were robbed."

    The forefront of the armies met with a clash and a roar
    As into the cut behind the battle bands also did pour
    The Bright One strung and loosed his first gold fletchèd arrow
    The foreign general slumped as its striking laid him low

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," it throbbed
    "Scarlet and miniver from the King's shoulders were robbed."

    Defeat was running down the hills and falling through the air
    Still dogging at the back most ranks and the front lines faced its stare
    Arms began to clatter down, hands were lifted high
    White scraps of cloth were torn apart and raised into the sky
    The field of blood was churned once more and then left to lie

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they cheer
    "Scarlet and miniver to the King's shoulders are near!"

    A space to cry for friend and brother and all the warriors dead
    A space to send the prisoners off and burn their tents of red
    A space to find the old King's corpse, of all noble trappings shorn
    A space to rest and breathe again for the wounded soldiers worn

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they sang
    "Scarlet and miniver from the King's shoulders shall hang."

    They passed down the cloth of gold, the crown with jewels inset
    The Bright One locked the tower doors to await the next great threat
    They passed down the scepter royal, the heavy Kingstone seal
    Reuven kissed his wife hello and saw that the fields were sown
    They passed down the oath most solemn and a King sat on the throne

    "Sweet apples, black grapes, and long barley," they play
    Scarlet and miniver on the King's shoulders lay.
  1.  
    I get the feeling this is a ballad, and there should be much more story to come ...
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      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2009
     
    Huh. What a strange feeling. I shall have to poll the audience to see if anyone else has come across this sensation.
  2.  
    Ooo! Pick me! Pick me!
  3.  

    *rasies hand and jumps in front of DJ*   NO ME!  , more! More!

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      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2009
     
    You know, Bree, I think I can still see DJ. :D But I hear both of you.
  4.  

    *turns and looks at the giant behind her.. *  oh.. yeah i can see your point.. *grins at DJ*

  5.  
    HI!
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      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeOct 26th 2011
     
    Extensive editing and still no ending. :P
  6.  

    Oh no!  I had not imagined such actions from the king!!

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      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeDec 11th 2012 edited
     
    4 new stanzas! And 655 words, not re-counting the chorus. 859 counting it in.
  7.  

    Definitely triggers the imagination. Well done!

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      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeJan 21st 2013
     
    Up to 20 stanzas. I'm kinda hoping I've passed the halfway point, but there's no knowing until it's finished...
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      CommentAuthorTrenchcoat
    • CommentTimeAug 4th 2013
     
    finished!