by Jonas Hyde
In the time before tales,
when the myths of old had walked, lived and grieved,
is where this story starts,
for the legend of Arthur all believed,
known as the King of Kings,
the one to behold for all he achieved.
A warrior and knight,
lover and friend- the fables of his rule,
echo through the ages,
tho’ with all things betwixt blissful and cruel,
time shapes legends at will,
and truth becomes the quandary of fools.
However, this I say,
not all yield to he known as Father Time,
there have been those so few,
that with verve and verity so sublime,
who kept record of days,
and of lore- with prose, verse and also rhyme.
It is within those words,
that the truth survives- and within that breath,
this account comes to you,
the tale of Pendragon, like Lady Beth,
starts with life chaste and true,
but as all things pure- ends in bitter death.
So, long and far ago,
in a settlement of fire and stone,
ruled a king, Vortigern,
and it was he with strength of grit and bone,
who did all that he could,
to push back the Saxon hordes from his throne.
And though his rule was brief,
but a pinhole in the annals of kings,
‘twas then the true legend,
of Arthur first began to spread its wings,
as the last prophecy,
of the dragon-king still echoes and rings.
For on one Autumn’s eve,
Vortigern was returning from a hunt,
when he was then approached,
by an old beggar who moved with a grunt,
the man, thin and sickly,
offered a great gift to spare an affront.
Curious as to what,
this tramp could offer a man of power,
the king gave a moment,
as the frail man pointed to the tower,
off ‘pon the rising ridge,
and said, “Ruin comes thismidnight hour.”
No longer so amused,
for the tower was his crowning treasure,
the king kicked the beggar,
away toward the ground with such displeasure,
knowing not it would come,
when the moon was at its highest measure.
And so when the moon rose,
with a red ring circling its brilliant glow,
the sands started to shake,
and tremors fervently began to grow,
that soon the very lands,
all seemed to shift and tremble from below.
It caused the tall tower,
upon the ridge to crumble to the ground,
crushing any within,
and when the quakes at last ceased all around,
the king rushed out swiftly,
furious at the commotion and sound.
He demanded the tramp,
to be brought- and ‘fore dawn was at his feet,
then with a club raised high,
Vortigern ordered to know in defeat,
the name of this beggar,
and if the eve’s tragedy would repeat.
The man smirked as he rose,
and then with a calm pace of breath replied,
“I, my lord, am Merlyn,
and ‘twas not I who caused lands to divide,
but I do know for sure,
what caused the tremors to start and subside.
“As deep below these sands,
within the hidden caverns void of light,
are two ancient dragons,
one bright as day- the other dark as night,
and on this solemn eve,
their final battle was a sacred rite.
“It was meant to portend,
the destiny of this entire land,
for if the shining beast,
were to be victorious and still stand,
a great era would come,
led by a dragon-king, an age so grand.
“If the shadowed serpent,
arose victor- then a darkness would come,
spawning all damnation,
but I do not know which fate will become,
I only saw the signs,
and to that knowledge I did so succumb.”
Believing now in all,
the wretched man before him had to say,
Vortigern raised him up,
and a large bounty he offered to pay,
coupled with position,
to divine the future and it convey.
Merlyn did take the purse,
but also rebuked the presented trade,
for he truly did know,
the part the just fallen tower had played,
a sign of the king’s fate,
which caused even Merlyn to be afraid.
So that very eve,
Merlyn slipped out from ‘neath the eyes of men,
sure of what was to come,
for he knew what the tower meant by then,
and Vortigern the king,
was ne’er heard from again.