• Ross

One of Four (poem)

Updated: Nov 22, 2018

This is an old poem of mine that I wanted to share. Maybe its not technically a poem- its fairly long- I don't know, call it what you will. Not crazy about the title, but I really do enjoy the poem.


CONTEXT: This is a romantic tragedy narrative poem from a fantasy setting.



One of Four


The trek had been one long and hard,

Feebly lightened by stories of the bard,

Scraped was the jar, free of lard,

Of those proceeding, most were scarred,


To and back again, from afar

Sewn through and through of mar,

Guided finally by faithful star,

Of akin to this, there was no par,


Defeated was the enemy, indeed,

Retreated to the wood and reed,

But yet remained troves of steed,

Whose bit was guided by that of greed,


Through enemy’s gate drove the head of a stag,

Down went every one of their flag,

Up went their principal, upon a fag,

Much blood was spilt, and sloshed with slag,


Quickly had they resealed the gate,

For strength they had not, to defend their fate,

A counter would be quick to contemplate,

And they would have all been named as ‘late’,


Fell did the king’s son, from his harness,

So hid did they in the enemy’s carcass,

While tending to the prince’s conscience,

Praying he to be delivered from darkness,


The sun reared its head once again,

Sense, the young crown, did regain,

But just enough to breathe in vain,

“Send word to father of mine bane,”


Though the army burrowed through,

Fought with valor, tried and true,

The way back would be hard too,

For the enemy’s spirit be renewed,


So chosen by cowards, were the brave,

To bear the banner upon the stave,

To it, the great men, were its nave,

For their courage could not mimic its waive,


Decrypted were four eyes,

From head of he whose spirit dies,

And given to the four who flies,

So believed will be he who survives,


When the fire was at hand’s breadth,

And horses chosen, from the fresh,

Men woken, from possum’s rest,

The four flew from the nest,


Down went one, with a thud,

Not farther had it flown than blood,

Slaughtered quickly in the mud,

A better mount chewed its cud,


Wooden birds chased those remained,

Of single feather were they ordained,

One of three’s back was stained,

Now, of four, two maintained,


Through the shade of flocks they danced,

Imagine with what grace, thou canst,

Off shield and helm they glanced,

Until lastly one was lanced,


He who was last was not alone,

For always had his thoughts been home,

His absence he would someday atone,

For he would make it on this roan,


His thoughts returned to one day,

Almost buried under memory,

After the sun had finished its play,

While soft breeze made standards sway,


The strings of music tugged the crowd,

Not too gentle, nor too loud,

Reserve hid behind liquor’s shroud,

As men approached ladies, and bowed,


Fine were they who attended the ball,

But, by far, the fairest of them all,

Was she who was no one’s thrall,

Who’s hair was of curled waterfall,


Through it, many times had gone a brush,

Her colored cheeks were pleasantly plush,

Her nails narrow, fined, and flush,

Her lips were cushions, exotic and lush,


Through which a smile gleamed,

And all the world around it seemed,

As if a mighty star had deemed,

The atmosphere need be beamed,


And her gaze, she lightly tossed,

To be caught, but at what cost,

For in her eyes could be centuries lost,

And for her prize, would swords be crossed,


Better yet, than light reflected,

Was the sound she projected,

Not simply in the tone perfected,

But her ideas, smart and collected,


Courage against foes, he ever knew,

However, he knew not from where he drew,

The strength to pull a bend in yew,

And approach she who he pursue,


Alas, he stood front her jeweled pate,

And opened, she, her pearly gate,

For death he stood and wait,

But his words he did dictate,


Through conversation he did find,

Many keys to unlock her mind,

And inside see gears at constant grind,

Soon they found themselves intertwined,


Like moon and sun they passed the time,

Till their legs urged them to unwind,

After a final sip of wine,

Her hand in his, he did find,


Like horses of a chariot, full of grace,

They commanded the floor and set the pace,

He in ribbons, she in lace,

Both decorated and face-to-face,


At long last, the night did end,

The other’s absence they tried to mend,

As many letters as they could send,

And many suitors she did fend,


Sharp his lungs phased,

Hot his mane blazed,

Over his eyes were glazed,

So-called archers stood dazed,


The dial showed noon,

They would arrive soon,

Over trench, past platoon,

So far they’d been immune,


Steed and rider worked as one,

Steel and leather between arrows tun,

Greed did the rider with constant dun,

Steal did the horse from earth and sun,


As they grew within final sight,

Under shadow of castle’s might,

The entry’s doors were yet tight,

A thousand soldiers stood midst a fight,


A simple man would now despair,

Perhaps, turn and run with care,

But with the gods, he played dare,

For his thoughts were yet on a subject fair,


It was a day of consequence,

His family displayed continence,

As he strode forward with confidence,

To join the campaign’s magnificence,


Of his actions, none were archival,

For her letters had ceased arrival,

Perhaps she’d begun to love a rival,

But strands were of his hope’s survival,


As he followed the path one-way trailed,

Past the land from which she hailed,

He believed his eyes had solely failed,

When he saw a familiar figure, unveiled,


Her hair, usually up, was down,

And was not adorned by bow nor crown,

Her dress replaced with a nightgown,

And upon her face was bent a frown,


As a spark, he took egress,

Looked for source of her distress,

His genuine care she took assess,

And her doubts she gave suppress,


“For long year, I writ to you,

My love bloomed and grew,

Were it not for hidden crew,

Our letters would have gotten through,


I hadn’t known my dear mother,

Wished me to marry another,

No shadow, a crown’s brother,

But my desire clung to no other,


On the eve of morrow,

She would have me vow to sorrow,

Emptied I all of my bureau,

The horse of my maid I borrow,


But in the dark of night,

My mount did fright,

He took to flight,

Left me without shard of light,


Now here are we,

For all to see,

Both leaving family,

And I wishing to see,


If upon your finger be a ring,

If there was my pride would sting,

But now my hands do wring,

As my hope takes to wing,


But alas, I am a mess,

My face is without dress,

My soles are sore of duress,

And my entire sight distress,


What chance have I,

To catch thine eye?,

Surrounded, the path of my,

With inescapable termini,”


All the while she had his attention,

His tongue was held in tight suspension,

Listening and coming to apprehension,

His words would need no invention,


“What chance have thee,

To look unto me,

I upon my single knee,

Making an everlasting lasting plea?,


If I were to speak of chance’s size,

It would be merely that of the sky’s,

Its probability would assume the guise,

Of that tomorrow’s sun will rise,


For in your most desperate hour,

You are yet the world’s most precious flower,

And if offered all the kingdom’s power,

I would toss it for a union of ours,


A simple dress is to your shimmer,

As a vocal trumpet is to a singer,

It takes what’s there and adds glimmer,

It is not origin, not beauty’s beginner,


Like a ruby buried in sand,

It be created not by hand,

Like instruments of harpies’ band,

Underappreciated by all ears manned,


In his mouth the taste of metal,

Barbed was he by manmade nettle,

As if his shield were made of petal,

A crimson brook refused to settle,


Pounded on the doors had he,

Pleaded with its dunce sentry,

Who insisted gateway must be free,

So he’d turned and fought tenaciously,


His bout was a terrible cyclone,

His sword grew dull as something sewn,

Until his ever-faithful roan,

Gave out beneath him with a moan,


Now he alit upon his feet,

A hundred more, death did meet,

Numbers he made obsolete,

Until at last, they were deplete,


Came to his ears the sound of grate,

Of wood on stone from neath the gate,

And suddenly there came a spate,

Of allies to alleviate,


There was no sweat upon his brow,

He was near to finish his vow,

They would be close forever now,

In his chest he felt cedar bough,


Deliberately she took his marque,

Hands pulled him through the arc,

Till ever, together, they would embark,

And all around him became dark.

7 views

© 2017-2019 Ross Metcalf's Blog & Portfolio

  • Ross' LinkedIn Profile