Spring

©Robert Fitzmorgan (Gordon Scott Fridenberg)



I love the joyful days of spring,
That make the birds to sweetly sing,
Throughout the green and verdant woods,
Where the lovely flowers bloom.
I'm pleased to see a camp well-made.
With tents, pavilions and flags arrayed,
Upon a green and pleasent glade.
But what pleases me even more,
Than that that I have said before,
Are men and horses armed for war.

It's good to see the skirmishers put the villagers to flight
. And the army close behind them ready for a fight.
And It does my heart good to see a strong castle put to siege!

A leader of men should be first in the attack.
Fierce and bold with no holding back.
Armed prepared and unafraid.
So his men may take heart from his bold display,
And follow when he leads them into battle.

Maces and swords and painted helms.
Axes and arrows too.
Helms split and armor periced,
The useless shields cut through.
These we shall see when the fighting starts.
And the men fight on with all their hearts.
Hacking and thrusting at arm and head,
While the unreined horses of the wounded and dead,
Wander wildly across the bloody battle field.

Once entered into battle, 
Let every man, proud of his birth, 
Think only of breaking arms and heads.
For a man is worth more dead than alive and beaten.

I tell you there is not so much savor
In eating or drinking or sleeping,
As when I hear the horses neighing.
And when I hear the men screaming,
Help Me! Help Me!!!
And when I see the men lying on the grass.
Little men and Great men, dying on the grass.
And, in the corpses, the stumps of broken lances.
With pretty silken streamers blowing in the breeze.

Barons pawn your castles, you villages and your cities
before you cease making war on one another!
Herald, quickly go, unto your lord quickly go!
And tell him he has lived in peace too long!


Robert's note: This poem is based in a song by the 12th Cent. Troubadour Bertran de Born. I have taken a prose translation by Frederick Goldin, and adapted it into a poem.