Rated: E · Poetry · Action/Adventure · #1942835
A story within a story ... (Form: Traditional Ballad)
The knight was weary from the ride,
the journey had been long.
He stopped to rest, and in the wind,
he heard a distant song.
The tales are told of yesteryear -
Norse legends of the sea.
There sails a ship called "Odin's Eye"
in songs of victory
The elders gathered 'round the man,
the storytellers say,
who carried magic in his hand
that always points the way.
Though he could speak the native tongue;
his manners were not Norse.
He traveled not by sailing ship;
he came by way of horse.
The small arrow that he carried
he claimed would guide the way
to the halls of great Valhalla
and its ice covered quay.
They loaded up their dragon boat,
this fearless Viking clan,
to prove to all the Gods of old
the dominance of man.
The fjord rang with hunting songs,
bright shone each shield and blade,
as onward to the north they sailed
proudly and unafraid.
The Gods sent snow and ice and storm
and yet, could do no harm.
The brave men laughed at each, convinced,
the arrow was their charm.
The rising sun revealed their goal;
there stood castles of ice.
With battle cries, they launched the fight;
the Gods would pay the price.
For days the village kept a watch
for Odin's Eye's return.
The ship was found, pulled on the beach,
empty from stem to stern.
The winter snows came earlier
than ever seen before.
A watch fire was kept ablaze
along the empty shore.
No trace was ever found of the
courageous men, now gone.
Yet, in the wind at night, is heard
the battle raging on.
As though arising from a sleep
the knight now felt restored.
The weathered lines had left his face;
his weariness ignored.
The knight picked up his heavy shield
inspired once again.
His bloodline knew this hero's song
for it came from within.
July winner of "Stormy's poetry newsletter & contest" [ASR]
Form: Traditional Ballad - A short narrative poem with stanzas of two or four lines and usually a refrain. The story of a ballad can originate from a wide range of subject matter but most frequently deals with folk-lore or popular legends. Most ballads are suitable for singing and, while sometimes varied in practice, are generally written in ballad meter, i.e., alternating lines of iambic tetrameter (8 beats) and iambic trimeter (6 beats) with the last words of the second and fourth lines rhyming.
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