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Crown Sirventes

Poster: Duane Moore <poetamilitarus@yahoo.com>

Good day to all!
Here is the poem that won the Roll of Arms Competition this weekend at
Roll of Arms Sirventes
Bryce de Byram

As courtesy breeds songs of love,
Nobility would make me sing
A Sirventes to be written of
This tournament to chose a king
That crowns his love as beauty's queen.
This gathering of mighty foes
Who stand and strike with awesome blows,
whose guidance comes from one above.

Processionals with banners bold,
With pennants, surcoats, gonfalons
Show noble beasts of ages old
that beg to be recalled in song,
And not to do so would be wrong.
So setting down the shining sword,
I pick up pen and fragile words,
And tell the story to be told.

The Phoenix1 rose, the Bear2 did maul,
The Griffin3 clawed out mighty blows.
The Cat4 did stalk and loudly prowl,
And potently a Cock5 did crow.
The Killer-whale6 frightened it's foes.
The Fleur of Mary7 took the field,
and one like David8  bore a shield.
An Ebonwolfe made Red9 blood fall.

Hakim's Pride10 fought most valiantly,
>From steppes a Otter11 bore a glaive?
A Lion bore arms gracefully12 ,
Our Lord's own Cross13 did bear a blade,
A Hammer14 cast out deadly trade.
A Shark circled to crown the Rose15 ,
A Carrion Crow16 feasted on foes,
A Gauntlet17 struck out mightily.

Until at last there stood but two,
Sir Alamric, with Blackened Hart18 ,
And brave Janos who fates dice threw19 
With quartered arms he bore his heart.
And as the blows fell fast and sharp,
They stood most nobility on the field,
Then honorably they both did yield,
And glory and defeat both knew.

The second fight was soon begun,
And Janos to his knees did go.
There Almaric a victory won,
And struck a most decisive blow,
A 'dubbing' that laid Janos low;
Till finally the great swords drawn,
the fates (who knew so all along!)
picked Alamric the favored son.

A Prince and Princess soon were crowned
But glory cloaked O'Shannon's name.
Lord Janos came and bent him down,
Was girded, clothed with belt and chain,
And spurs the marks of knightly fame.
And somewhere far above the crowd
a Earl and Countess' hearts grew proud,
and smiled on those gathered around. 
This impromptu piece was written at Atlantian Spring Crown Tournament,
May 1st,1999, the Feast day of St. Joseph the Worker, in the Barony of
Black Diamond for the Roll of Arms poetry competition. The style is a
Sirventes, a 12c form of poetry written by the troubadours that  was "A
lyric genre on the subject of politics, religion, morality, or the like
rather than love…"*

I have chosen for this sirventes to have a verse with eight stanzas
(ABABBCCA) as was used by the master of this style, Bertrand de Born in
his work "I shall make a sirventes of the two kings…". Also, as a
condition of the competition was to somehow include the names or
heraldry carried by the participants in the Tourney into the piece, I
have imploded the use of "Senhals" or pseudonyms used by the
troubadours. Below is a Key for the various senhals used in the piece.

Anthology of Troubadour Lyric Poetry/ Alan R. Press/ University of
Texas Press/ Austin 
Lyrics of the Troubadours & Trouveres: An Anthology & History/
Frederick Goldin/ Anchor Books, Anchor Press/ Doubleday/ Garden City,
New York
Proensa: An Anthology of Troubadour Poetry/ Paul Blackburn/ University
of California Press, Berkeley, Los Angeles, London
Seven Troubadours: The Creators of Modern Verse/ James J. Wilhelm/ The
Pennsylvania State University Press/ University Park & London
Songs of the Troubadours/ Anthony Bonner/ Schocken Books/ New York
The Chansons of the Troubadour & Troveres: A study of the melodies and
their relation to the poems/ Hendrik van der Werf/ 1972/ A. Oosthoek's
Uitgeversmaatschappiji NV/ Utrecht
The Compleat Anachronist # 44: The Troubadours/ Deborah Rochefort
The Compleat Anachronist #62 : The Trouveres/ Deborah Rochefort
*The Music of the Troubadours/ Elizabeth Aubrey/ Indiana University
Press/ Bloomington & Indianapolis
The Troubadours & Their World/ Jack Lindsay/Frederick Muller Limited,
(Example # 6,10,11,12,13)
The Troubadours/ Robert S. Briffault/ 1965/ Indiana University Press/
translations by Norman Clare, 1970

KEY: (My apologies if I misspell any names, I don't have the list in
front of me…)
1. Julius of Black Diamond
2. Werenher von Ingolstadt
3. Rienhart von Griefswald
4. Cussata de Courtenay
5. Artorius Conchobhar
6. Mungoe McKlinchey
7. Galen the Traveller (the fleur-de-lis is a symbol of the Virgin
8. Hyrim de Guillion (who was King David at the Coronation Pas.)
9.  Brian Killian the Red
10.  Iain Monlach 
11. Vladimir…. Aleksandrov
12. Aelfred of Cres (who wore Duchess Simone's arms on his surcoat.)
13. Kevin of Thornbury
14. Ragnar Blackhammer
15. Daemon Broussard
16. Corby de la Flamme
17. Thorbrandr Olafsson
18.  Alamric Blackhart
19.  Janos of Cydallin Downs

"Nicotinic acid cures pellagra, but a beefsteak prevents it."-
Henry E. Sigerist, medical historian
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