Rhiannon

Long, long ages past,
In the time of darkness.
Deep in the valley, oppressed and laid low.
There once lived a King, a leader of people,
Denied the knowledge which he must know.

For in that Age, there came no laughter,
The faces of children were set in fear.
Dark clouds drifted o’er the people,
And smothered their cries and hid their tears.

Once they were a nation proud.
They proclaimed their strength, long and loud.
The poets danced, the artists did play,
And all there loved each night and day.

The colours were bright, the days were long.
The water so sweet, no thirst could deny.
And after each storm,
The rainbow shone o’er earth and sky.

But then there came an Evil One.
Who drove away the shining sun.
He smote the people with his hand,
Laid far and wide across the land.
In this Age each man knew fear,
And women wept bitter tears.

The King was in despair,
No child, no child to know or care.
For only one born of innocence,
Could save them from this Evil One.

Then there came the day,
When a light in that land shone.
There came a child, a single smile.
A tear and a song.
And her name was Rhiannon……

The King’s Desire

A King was restless in his sleep,
For he could not help but keep,
The memory one whose beauty,
Did deny him rest,
With relentless cruelty.

For all battles he had fought,
Had gained him naught.
His life was lacking in a son,
To keep his Kingdom,
When his life was done.

But as yet,
He had no Queen,
For there was no maiden in his eye,
That he had seen,
Fit to rule his Kingdom,
And give to him a son.

So now he looked here and there,
For a maiden fair,
To make his wife,
And end his bachelor life.

And she would give to him a single son,
To protect his Kingdom,
When his life and work were done.

The King Troubled

The King was troubled to his very soul.
No child to care for him,
When he grew old.

“This wretched darkness is all around,
And the crying of babes is the only sound,
In this land now grown cold.

What is to be done?
What good will come,
Of this land of mine,
As ‘though lost for all time.
Where sun no more ever shines?

What man born of woman,
Can free us from His Hand?
And free at last every man,
Who would see once more the sun,
And gaze upon the moon,
When the day is done?

But now it seems the stars alone,
Will keep me company on my own.
In solitude will I end my days?
Alone and forgotten always?

Where is Merion when I have need?
When children cry and ask to feed?
What use the Sorcerer if he will not come,
When even the King summons?

I will not bend to serve His Hand,
No!
Not unto the very last man,
In this land.
The Evil One may try his last,
I shall e’er hold fast.
And if the Wizard will fear to come,
I have no need of him,
Though I be undone!

But somewhere I shall find a man,
Who shall save my people,
And this land.
I will ne’er stoop to kiss His Hand,
The Evil One I shall damn,

The King’s Decree

And there went out a decree,
By land, air and sea.
If there could be found a man,
To save the King’s people and land,
Unto half the Kingdom would be his own,
To rule thereafter,
Him alone.

If any Knight would be so bold,
As to risk his life and very soul,
In comfort would he spend his days,
At peace always.

From man to man,
From town to town,
Mountains up and valleys down,
Went the cry.
And all that heard,
Dreamed of better times,
Prayed aloud to see a sign,
And send to them,
A Knight so brave,
That would not shy,
To face the Evil One.

And ‘though many were tempted,
And many tried,
They journeyed afar,
Neath the stars,
But just as many would ne’er return,
Every one of them,

Doomed to die.
And somewhere,
In a distant place,
Merion heard the Queen’s cry.
“Merion if e’er we had need of you,
Pray come now to us,
I speak true.
We cannot live like this,
For fear of the Evil kiss.
Come deliver us.

And Merion came.

The King’s Journey

The King did ride on a Summer day,
And where he went,
He could not say.

He rode long and far,
Neath the sky and stars.
Looking here and there,
For a maiden more fair,
Than any he had ever seen,
That she might be his Queen.

But ‘though the maidens were exceedingly fair,
In that land,
And each did offer to him her hand,
Still, for none did he cast a care,
Passing on and on,
Another day under the sun,
Wondering when his task might be done.

And ‘though the people gathered round,
Laying blossoms on the ground,
Where he rode,
And where he trod,
Yet still he could not hear,
The voice of one,
Who would give him a son.

One dark night,
He dismounted his steed.
And as the horse began to feed,
He heard voices amongst the gorse,
And the neighing of a Dark Horse.

So he lead his horse a little yonder,
And then to answer his mind’s wonder,
He returned to see three huddled men,
Who hissed and whispered and hissed again.

They sat around a small camp fire,
Where they punched and kicked,
And called each other “liar!”

They spoke of a fair maid,
Of great beauty,
Who had their Master’s Hand stayed,
From laying low Caerdiff town,
And all the people around.

But this maid refused to sing,
To one who would be King.
And so she remained,
Till love she would feign,
Locked in a tower,
If need be,
Until her final hour.

The King’s Queen

Upon the morrow,
The King did awake,
And in kneeling prayer,
A vow did take.

He would make it his task,
To seek the maiden,
Of whom he had heard.
And if she could but win his heart,
He would of her then ask,
If she were the fairest in all this land,
To make her his Queen,
And in marriage take her hand.

And so he rode,
Upon his steed,
With all haste and speed.
And then he came to a dismal land,
Where he did stand.

Grey skies were overhead,
In that land where he had been led,
By talk of a maiden most fair,
Whom he hoped to find,
Locked in a castle there.

But alone he did not know,
The way which he must go,
To find the answer to his prayer,
And rescue this maiden fair.

So the King called Merion’s name.
And from a distant place,
The Mystic Man came.

 Merion

Merion was a Mystic Man,
At one with the air, sea and land.
From whence he came,
No man did know,
And as he willed,
We would come and go.

He was the keeper of distant knowledge,
Trained in the mystic arts,
By the mighty White Dragon,
Who imparted to him,
The Ancient Crafts.

He was known to only those,
To whom he chose,
To reveal himself.
And as with mystic men,
He commanded fear.
He would extract a price most dear,
From those who dared to cross him.

He would live eternally,
And had no fear of land, air or sea.
With his mystic arts to perform,
He would combat every storm,
And travelling with Age and Time,
He would his spells design.

Never failing in his skill,
He would wield his will,
To restore a Kingdom to its King,
He would spare nothing.

But love also he did inspire,
Amongst those who came to know.
And to these chosen ones,
Through the Ages,
He would show,
The secrets of the stars,
For his knowledge was beyond the ken,
Of mere, mortal, temporal men.

His purpose was known to only he,
And only he could truly see,
The fate of what had been,
And was yet to be.

But in this Age he heard a call,
Of anguish and despair.
A Kingdom would soon fall,
If he turned a deaf ear.

So he came to the King,
And heard the song he did sing.

Merion Comes At The King’s Command

When the moon was overhead,
Merion came to the King and said,
“Thou callest upon me only,
When thou art fearful or lonely,
When thou hast need of my skill,
To conquer lands and kill.

Thou art forever complaining,
With demands and orders ever straining.
And so I come upon this night,
Thou thinkest it thy right,
To command my magic might.

But this I say,
That I might thy hand stay,
Leave this place,
Whilst you yet may.”

Then said the King,
With sword in hand,
“I am thy King,
In this or any other land.
You are mine to command.

Yonder is my Queen,
Imprisoned in a castle tower,
By Sorcery it seems.
Help me free her from this place,
That I may forever,
Delight in her face.”

“My Lord thou art,
It is true.
But I answer not to you,
At this or any time,
My will is mine.

Battles for you have I fought,
And in return you have offered naught,
What shall I gain if I help you here,
In this place,
Of all I fear.

For I too do fear this place,
So I bid you again,
Flee with all haste.
For to enter this land of gloom,
Is to meet thy doom.

This castle is ruled by the Dark One,
By whom all Evil Deeds are done.
If you take ought that is His,
His Mistress shall thee a Death Kiss.

But more than this,
Can the Dark Lord,
Take your life with a sword.

Your soul He can claim,
So let not this place your life stain.

Flee now whilst you yet may,
Here you must not think to stay,
Not another night or day.
I pray thee,
Hear what I say.”

“No! No!
I shall not heed,
These cowardly words,
Of which you speak.
I shall not listen,
Nor suffer tears in her eyes to glisten.

So, whatever the cost,
For which I have no thought,
I shall give thee whatsoe’er you need,
Enough to satisfy the greatest greed.
I can love no other,
Than she in that tower,
This I swear,
Thou shalt have it for thy store,
If I should e’er love anything more.

For truly I do love the maiden there,
Imprisoned in that Evil Lair.

┬áThe King’s Pledge

Merion now secure,
Of his promise sure,
He left the King in that time,
To counsel with the Great Dragon,
And seek His Mind.

“My Lord,
I shall do as you command.
I shall free this maiden for thee,
From this land.
Though what you ask,
May mean darkness for your Kingdom.
Yet I shall cast a spell,
(For your unborn son),
Of sleep upon this land,
That you may win her hand.

But of this you must hold true,
A pledge has been made between us two.
I shall hold thee to thy promise,
But thou must not forget this.”

And with those words,
The King did kneel,
His hand upon his sword.
“Thou shalt have it for thy store,
If I should e’er love anything more.”

Then Merion with the Great Dragon did meet,
“Oh Wise Dragon,
I have a most fearful feat.
So to thee have I come,
To this Age,
To thee oh Sage.
The King seeks a Queen,
That she may render to him a son.

So tell me this oh Mighty One,
Shall this King be the One,
To drive the darkness from the land,
And defeat the Evil Hand?

For surely if this deed is done,
The Evil One will take away the sun.
For already He seeks to grow stronger,
And make His Arm longer,
To spread His Evil further still,
And impose upon all good men,
His Evil Will.

But this King,
Though good of heart,
Has had from the very start,
An impetuous nature,
Forever asking favours.

Though I have warned him,
Of his command,
Yet he will not leave,
That Evil Land,
Without this maiden,
Whom he has seen,
And whom he would make his Queen.”

The Wise One did listen intently,
And then spoke quietly.
“Merion, thou hast done well,
So I shall to thee this tell.
Though this union shall come to be,
The King is not the One,
On whom we must depend to restore the sun.

This King is destined some day to stray,
To the pledges he makes on this and other days.
He is not the One,
By whom the final conflict shall be won.

The Evil One shall send,
Dark Servants to scour the land,
O’er which He shall spread His Hand.
Though it is not for him to know,
To the King you must show,
All kindness.

Do what you can,
Let him win this maiden’s hand.
For he is part of our plan,
To rid this Age of the Evil One,
And drive Him from this good land.”

Then to the King Merion returned.
His will now turned,
To the King’s need,
For the Wise One’s words he did heed.

The Queen’s Rescue

“My Lord,
Thou hast given me thy word.
So I shall cast a spell,
Which a Mighty Dragon to me did tell.
This shall free the maiden,
Whom you have seen,
And make her your Queen.

But be warned my Lord of this,
The Evil One’s Breath is a Deadly Kiss.
I know that He is not now in this abode,
For upon a Dark Dragon He rode,
To scour this land,
For means by which,
To win your Queen’s hand.

From this maiden shall come a child,
Whose nature shall be both meek and mild,
At one with this land,
By whose side I shall e’er stand.

This night I shall help thee yet,
So sleep now and do not fret,
On the morrow,
At the rising of the sun,
My spell shall be cast,
My task shall be done.

I shall bring sleep upon this stronghold,
To strike both weak and bold.
Then when they all do slumber,
No matter how great their number,
You shall take the maiden from her cell.
So, my Lord, this night sleep well.”

And on the morrow,
The King did rise.
And there before his very eyes,
All around was bitter cold,
The forest and the hold,

Covered with a layer of snow,
That laid all living creatures low.

The squire and steed,
Did also sleep,
And the King could not keep,
But ask to know,
How he would go,
To the Queen’s cell.
And so he bade Merion tell.

But Merion made not a sound.
He waved his hands up and down,
And somewhere from the sky,
A Snow-White Dragon flew by.

The gentle flapping of it’s flight,
Ceased as upon the ground,
It did alight,

The King stood back,
And drew his lance,
In a defensive stance.

“What manner of creature is this here!
That fills my heart with such fear!
Cast a spell and strike it dead,
For it fills my heart with dread!”

But Merion laughed and took the lance,
“One word and you too will fall into a trance!
Fear not this Goodly Beast,
Of all creatures in this land,
You need fear Her least.
This Dragon will upon this hour,
Take you to the tallest tower,
There you must wake your Queen,
And leave this land silent and unseen unseen.”

And then the King,
That mighty Lord,
Complete with dagger and sword,
Upon the Dragon’s scaly spine,
Did climb.

“Merion!
What must I do!
When I see her there,
With this Dragon Mare.
Upon whose back I shall fly,
To see my Queen,
Where she lies.”

“Save killing and complaining,
Whining and wailing,
Canst thou not do anything!
Why you are King,
I cannot know!
Thou hast no Regal Qualities,
Which thou hast to me shown!

When you see her in a slumber,
Lying in her prison chamber,
Kiss her gently upon the cheek,
And wake her from her sleep.”

The Dragon on a silent flight,
With the King did alight.
Flying straight to the Queen,
To the Evil Tower,
Silent and unseen.

And there the King,
Stood in awe,
At the beauty which he saw.
Lying on a silken bed,
Long, soft hair about her head,
Lay the maiden lost in sleep,
That the King could not help but keep,
To kiss her on the cheek,
And so she awoke from that deep sleep.

“My Lord, my Lord,
Upon my word!
Who are you?
Though I should you fear,
Tis strange, but true,
I fear thee not.”

Sweet maid, sweet maid,
What can I say?
I have searched for thee,
For so many days.
And then upon the midnight hour,
I heard of thee in this tower.

And faith!
They did speak true!
Ne’er before I have seen,
Such beauty as you.

I am a King of a distant land,
But if I can but serve thee,
I shall be your servant.

Let me take you from this place,
And if God should grant me grace,
I shall forever gaze upon your face.
Let me make you my Queen,
That you may forever be seen,
At my side.”

“My Lord, my Lord,
This cannot be!
For one much mightier than thee,
Has imprisoned me in this cell.
Grant me the strength to thee tell,
He is no earthly man,
But a Mighty Evil in this land.

He holds me here in this tower,
Until some final hour,
When I will agree to be his,
And willingly give him my kiss.

But this creature,
Most foul of every feature,
Will ne’er succeed,
To keep me here,
No matter how great His Need.
For He may hold this body of mine,
For days and nights throughout time,
But my soul he cannot command,
Though it be the last,
In the land.

But fly! Fly!
Thrice time fly!
Hear this my heartfelt cry!
Do not linger here because,
Your soul shall be your greatest loss.

The Evil One,
Who commands this place,
Will not grant grace,
To any who would deny his will.
And he will more,
Than thy body kill.

He has powers to command the mind,
There is no stronger purpose,
Which I might hope to find,
Than that which drives Him,
To some bitter end,
And which allows Him,
Men’s souls to Hell send.

So heed me my Lord,
If thou will,
For I will tell thee still,
If you would keep thy life,
Think not to make me thy wife.”

“Thy face I have now seen,
My most beautiful Queen.
So do not bid me haste away.
I would have thee with me,
All my days.

Though you are a prisoner here,
I have now seen you near.
I am now chained to you,
This I speak true.

There is naught I will not do,
To win your love true.
So command me anything,
For truly I am your servant,
Not your King.”

“My Lord,
You must not speak so!
The pain of Death,
I would not have thee know.
Leave now before His Return,
Lest your soul shall in Hell burn.
So go!
Go!”

“My Queen, my Queen!
What words may I speak,
That I may thee,
By my side keep?”

“There is naught that thou canst say,
To make me spend with thee one single day.
For I do fear for thy very soul,
I would see thy body grow steadily old.
I would not hold thee to some whim,
In which you hope my heart to win.

For truly my heart is thine already,
But for fear of thy life,
It beats unsteady.
I would not see thy breath extinguished,
I would see thy life finish!”

“My Queen, my Queen,
My heart does now abound,
With love for thee,
Whom I have found.

But if thou lovest me true,
This I beseech thee do.
Come with me from this place,
God grant me grace,
To live with thee in perfect love,
Else this day I shall my soul,
Discharge to Heaven above.”

“Thou art a stubborn King,
Yet if I cannot be rid of thee,
I shall wear thy ring.
But this I do not understand,
How did you me find,
In this land?
How did you come upon this hour,
To my imprisonment tower.
Unheard and unseen,
To woo a future Queen?

The entrance to this fortress,
Is guarded by Dark Servants,
And His Mistress.
They are without number,
With Dark Demons who ne’er slumber.”

“I live a charmed life,
Oh beauteous Queen,
My beloved wife.
I have the service of a Wizard rare.
Yonder he waits,
In the woods there.
He has but a simple name,
Though in all the world,
He has great fame.

His name is Merion.
And with his aid,
A Dragon was made,
Upon whose back,
I flew here.
Look how he stands,
Upon the casement near.”

“My Lord,
I still do not understand,
How came you to win my hand,
When all around are Evil Beasts,
Who would your very flesh eat,
If you should of your presence,
But let them know,
If you were to but let your face show.”

“My Queen, do not fear,
For Merion is near.
He has cast a spell,
Which I would to thee now tell.

Outside all is purest white,
With snow which fell overnight.
And with it came pleasant sleep,
In which all living creatures will keep,

Until we two have made good our escape.

So come,
This my hand take.
Let us from this place flee,
That we may be together eternally.”