William Makepeace Thackeray

(1811-1863 / India)

The Knightly Guerdon - Poem by William Makepeace Thackeray

Untrue to my Ulric I never could be,
I vow by the saints and the blessed Marie,
Since the desolate hour when we stood by the shore,
And your dark galley waited to carry you o'er:
My faith then I plighted, my love I confess'd,
As I gave you the BATTLE-AXE marked with your crest!

When the bold barons met in my father's old hall,
Was not Edith the flower of the banquet and ball?
In the festival hour, on the lips of your bride,
Was there ever a smile save with THEE at my side?
Alone in my turret I loved to sit best,
To blazon your BANNER and broider your crest.

The knights were assembled, the tourney was gay!
Sir Ulric rode first in the warrior-melee.
In the dire battle-hour, when the tourney was done,
And you gave to another the wreath you had won!
Though I never reproached thee, cold, cold was my breast,
As I thought of that BATTLE-AXE, ah! and that crest!

But away with remembrance, no more will I pine
That others usurped for a time what was mine!
There's a FESTIVAL HOUR for my Ulric and me:
Once more, as of old, shall he bend at my knee;
Once more by the side of the knight I love best
Shall I blazon his BANNER and broider his crest.


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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010



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