Daaskmere Monk

William of Meadowsford

Book Cover

arrowShawn Postoff

Copyright © 1997 - 2009
arrowInfinitive Ink Limited


VI ill title Heavy Pictures

Before I disclose how I met Tom again,
I feel I must offer still more with my pen,
Concerning a matter of deep inner doubt,
That grew of unkindly appearance without.

We’d sit us a Household some nights after meats,
When after a banquet we stayed in our seats,
And having made light entertainment with guests,
They’d tell us the tales of good knights and bold quests.
We heard of great Charlemagne, Gawain, and Kay,
The ladies would swoon at Sir Launcelot’s way.
Of Arthur’s Round Table, his search for the Grail,
We listened with wonder, rejoiced without fail.
These tales spoke of heroes and models complete
Whose perfect existence we strove to repeat.
As plots were unfolded those times in the night,
The tellers would look to each squire sitting tight,
And speak heavy words of the morals and rights
That challenged us plainly to reach to those heights.

The fire was roaring and crackling with heat,
My eyes then would wander for something to meet.
I’d turn from the table of candles burned low,
Of half-empty goblets that thrice had wine flow,
Of plates piled high with their greasy-cooked bones,
And faces enthralled with dramatic told tones.
I’d look to the edges of banquet hall mirth,
Where cold and thick stonework rose up from the earth.
But most of its mortar was covered and veiled,
Behind the great tapestries, plush and detailed.
Their images painted the legends of old,
The same ones, in fact, we were then being told.
I studied their landscapes of soft-woven wool,
Where hills sunk to valleys and rivers ran full.
The colours so vibrant, they still appeared bright
Despite being bathed in the orange-glow light.

Alive on these vistas of masterful weave,
And rendered with labour I’d hardly believe,
There lived all the knightliest legends of old,
With beautiful locks plaited yellow as gold.
Their slender proportions were lively with grace,
And rosiest cheeks shone from many a face.
Of eyes, they were large, with a magical hue,
They looked with proud spirits each morning anew.
Their noses were straight, and each mouth held a laugh
That lighted the scene on the angels’ behalf.
Their bodies, tho’ youthful, were built them right strong,
With broad chests and shoulders, and saddle legs long.
From arms made of muscle came powerful blows,
While hands were kept soft for the courtesy shows.

Those knights in the arras, their images bright,
Presented to me their significant sight.
And tho’ with intent to inspire my strength,
The weavings affected my weak’ning at length.
For staring sometimes at reflections that made
Their colder appearance in hand-mirror’s aid,
I saw that my features had different designs
Than those that appeared on the tapestry lines.
My hair was not golden, but wispy and brown.
It hardly was curly but straightly hung down.
My eyes saw with patience, I rarely would shout -
‘Twas not I the legends reported about.
If I was not modeled from heroes of old,
Whose looks from the arras came gallant and bold,
Then how could I rightfully hope and expect
To truthfully follow the chivalrous sect?

These doubts often plagued me when meals I’d consume,
And glance me with longing around the draped room.
But from the collection was grandly one weav’d,
That often my scornful attention received.
Its image depicted a valiant knight,
Whose looks most resembled in manner and sight
My noble companion, my brother and friend,
The happiest Duncan I’d always defend.
And tho’ I wrote earlier on in this piece
That only my love and ne’er envy’d increase,
There were, I admit, wretched feelings oft made
When weakness allowed jealous thoughts to invade.
They scared me, these flashes of doubt in my head:
Comparing myself to my friend nobly bred,
I found myself lacking in blood and in flesh
The instinct of knighthood resilient and fresh.

So days came new moons that waxed full and waned clear,
And passed them from seasons to year upon year,
And slowly what started as nagging disgust,
My thoughts for the arras ‘came cold with distrust.
Tho’ friendship with Duncan would never abate,
His looks on that weaving did garner my hate.