The Gallant Knight
By stealth of night and fierce-fought fight
The Saxons seized Talfryn –
Then put the Welsh to frantic flight
And killed the royal kin.
Now, within the castle fireplace
The dancing flames did roar
And up the massive chimneyface
The rushing smoke did soar
Two mastiff hounds did stretch and yawn
Their mistress at their side
She trembling for the coming dawn –
Her marriage as war bride.
Her sweet name was Anwen Parry
A girl of seventeen
Held at Saxon mercy –
By the killer of King and Queen.
As soon as she was safely wed
He’d take her as his own
Defile her in their marriage bed
And claim the Parry throne.
Obscured within the Cambrian fog
That lay upon the vale
A Celtic knight with running dog
Passed near this villain’s jail
A wizened witch to him did speak
With tones most villainous
And then divulged, by strangled shriek,
This plan of wickedness.
The Gallant Knight in outraged tone
Declared he’d act this day,
Galloping from the wheezing crone
He spurred his mount away
He vowed this crime he would prevent
He’d stop the winding clock;
His courage and chivalrous intent
Would this scoundrel block.
On fiery steed the noble peer
With faithful hound beside
Galloped up to the castle rear
To plan his way inside.
From hidden grove he eyed the scene
A cunning plan he’d make –
Up and through the ivy green
Was the rescue route he’d take!
He’d climb within the ivy safe,
A hundred feet or more,
His only thought to reach the waif
That he was searching for.
With knotted cord around his neck
His trusty sword he tied –
Starting forth on his upward trek
All fears he set aside.
So, sure of foot and strong of arm
He climbed the ivy green
Resolved to save the girl from harm…
The danger concealed… unseen….
For as he climbed each sturdy bough
The ivy slowly stirred;
Green leaves began to move somehow…
And something strange occurred
First a leg and then an arm
We’re wrapped tight in ivy leaves!
The more he moved, the more the harm –
It gripped his very sleeves!
The massive plant was grabbing him
With every move he made
Seizing him now, limb by limb…
He began to be afraid
For this was no normal ivy tree
This one was alive –
Holding him now by the knee,
He’d be lucky to survive
The ivy pushed him from the wall
Poised for a mighty throw –
Determined to make him fall
To his certain death below
Ivy leaves pushed into his face
His eyes, his ears, his nose
Trapped high in this monstrous place
Ivy tearing at his clothes
Another minute and he would plunge
From that lofty height;
The creature needed one more lunge
To kill the Gallant Knight!
He struggled for his dagger knife
Hid fast within his belt
Panicking, he fought for his life –
And then the knife he felt
Eased the blade against the knotted bough
That held his sword arm tight;
Cutting hard, he swore a hero’s vow
To win this deadly fight
The arm came free as the cut he made
And grabbed his mighty sword,
The ivy fought for the blade –
But he got his just reward!
He fiercely cut with slashing sword
And fought the angry leaves
Free now – movement restored –
Climbing to the lofty eaves
He slashed and cut throughout the climb,
Wary of fatal slip;
Knightly strength, and steel sublime,
Overcame the creature’s grip
Beneath the eaves he paused for breath,
Free from the ivy’s hold,
Thankful to have avoided death –
This knight so brave and bold
He paused beside a window wide
And heard a crying sound;
Within he spied the weeping bride
Beside her massive hound.
A girl of matchless beauty;
With a smile to light moonbeams –
He knew that this girl was truly
The maiden of his dreams
She in turn was smitten
By his chivalrous face so kind.
Both knew how the book was written –
Their amorous fates entwined!
At the window wide she took his wrist,
As smiling eyes embraced;
Lovers now they gently kissed
As he took her by the waist.
Then wrapped around with his stout cord
He helped her to the ledge
Held up his mighty iron sword
And graced her with this pledge:
“I give my heart to thee to hold
To cherish and adore;
Fabled treasures of pure gold
I endow to thee, and more”
“I am born a prince of Cymru
That old and fabled land.
Plight your romantic troth to me –
Say thee will take my hand!”
The Gallant Knight in strong chain mail
Inspired her heart with love;
She would make him her Holy Grail –
The one she had dreamt of!
She blushed and smiled her glad assent
She would her hand bestow.
Engaged now, they’d make their descent
To the firmament below.
But first to kill the ivy green
Beyond the window ledge!
So now, to protect his Queen –
They’d jump from the very edge!
Rope tied to the window frame,
The other end round his waist;
One arm held his beauteous dame –
In the other his sword he placed
With a leap they were on their way,
Fast down the tower’s side,
Sword cutting a pathway –
The rope slowing their bumpy ride
The ivy leaves began to fight
But they were far too slow….
To stop the couple’s speedy flight
Down to the ground below!
Over the grassy sward they ran,
Anxious to make good speed,
As fast as young lovers can,
To his mighty waiting steed.
They sat astride the chestnut mare
And galloped though the dawn,
Undying love they did declare
As happy fates were drawn.
Today they rule the land of Wales,
The Parry lands regained,
Saxons driven from the vales –
And the English left blood-stained.
The story of the Gallant Knight
Who triumphed in that fray,
Who fought and won that fearsome fight,
We’ll hear another day
The Gallant Knight tells us to be strong;
To go where virtue leads:
To justly fight – for right not wrong –
And live by worthy deeds.