If can be found here.
This weekend, snailstichrand I went back, planning to see aspats, until work decided to send her elsewhere for a conference on Friday night. Even worse for her, because it would cause her to miss the return of her boyfriend, who had spent 2 weeks in Canada. But then her plane had a mechanical issue on the runway, causing her departure to be delayed until Saturday morning, allowing her both boyfriend time and time with Mom.
We were onsite in the morning, in time to see opening court, which featured a knighting and the surprise reappearance of Baron Orlando, who has spent most of the last year deployed.
I spent the rest of the day working on an occasional poem, which was delivered at evening court. Then I got to judge the finals of the Bardic Competitions with Orlando and Caterina. Congratulations to Svann.
Here was what I wrote that day:
The Return of Orlando
Sing now, O Muse, your epic songs of heroes home from war,
Who eastern arms did test in strife for single year or score.
When crafty king of Ithaka, Odysseus by name,
Did homeward come from Trojan War he found no joyous game;
But suitors in unruly mob who sought to wed his wife,
Penelope who faithful stood, and led a blameless life.
All day she worked her skillful loom to finish tapestry,
But moonlight saw her work undone to guard her chastity.
To this sad scene the warrior came in beggar’s robes adorned,
And he alone did bend the bow and mercy pleas he scorned.
Laid low were all the suitors base who hoped a crown to wed.
Odysseus took his faithful wife back to their wedding bed.
Great feast was held and then more strife: more suitors brought to slaughter.
Then through the night was revelry, with wine untouched by water.
In Namron’s land at start of June, a cousin-play commences.
Orlando home from far-off war, saw he to realm’s defenses.
No suitors’ mob was gathered, nay, but subjects true and loyal.
He greetings spoke with fealty oath to Black Star Couple Royal.
And joyous games for his return was Caterina’s bidding.
No hateful strife was cause of blows, but Melancholy’s ridding.
Archers’ bows make clothyards fly and jesters brought forth laughter.
The brewers offered finest ales and promised more for after.
The artisans did ply their crafts, for fame and prizes vying.
And children, too, did join the mirth and sent their stuffed frogs flying.
How blessed are we, in Namron’s land to join in celebration.
This glorious day with rancor banned is cause for such elation.
Though war may call him off again and make him eastward roam,
All Namron cheers, this day at least, Orlando has come home.