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The Remnants of Chivalry

Fall 2015 - Vol. 57, No. 4

 

This poem appears in the Fall 2015 issue of Modern Age. To subscribe now, go here.


Like loaves and fishes gathered from the feast,
They lie, within the myths and legends, cold.
They lie while those who cared most, care the least
And scoff with scorn and say, “So lie the bold!”

Scarred from the battles fought for honor’s rights,
A lady’s kiss—ah! for the glance alone!
Now, cased in rust and tombed within the night,
They rest and wait beneath the mountain’s stone.

No longer do they pull their tarnished swords
From leather sheaths and brandish them like toys;
No longer do they greet their kingly lords
And clamor round them like a hundred boys.

Forgotten in the stupor of an age
Where men are marching ghostlike to their tombs,
The knights still dream of times when wars were waged
For God, for crowns, for fruits of mothers’ wombs.

With divine desire, each craves the day to come
When he’ll unsheathe and raise once more his sword
And answer to the call of horn and drum
And ride again for lady, land, and Lord.