The Duke Of The North-March

Words and Music: Conn MacNeill
Written in Honor of Duke Guy of Caid

He was born in the North, where the wind drives the snowfall,
And driven was he by dread forces unseen,
A craftsman's son he, for hands-work intended,
But his eyes were ensorcelled by the shimmering steel. (repeat line)

In his youth he waxed restless, to the sea's edge he wandered,
A quenching sought he for his deepening need,
He learned of and courted a maid of great beauty,
And learned of and courted the shimmering steel. (repeat line)

The pains that he took in his lessons were answered,
By inner fire driven in chamber and field,
He won her betrothal with fair looks and phrases,
A fair princedom won he with the shimmering steel. (repeat line)

He coursed into error, for strength was obsession,
His soul not yet tempered in the forge of the years,
His councilors bade him a five-year to wander,
To gain wisdom to govern the shimmering steel. (repeat line)

His inner voice pointed the life of King Christus,
A carpenter's trade did he ply for his weal,
In the fifth spring, with God's aid, all tools had he mastered,
A tool now for crafting was the shimmering steel. (repeat line)

Homeward he journeyed, his tread strong with purpose,
His eyes now were softer, for truth had he seen,
He sought out the maiden, her love had new meaning,
With new meaning he girded the shimmering steel. (repeat line)

With feasting and revels he wedded the maiden,
With stones and strong timbers he fashioned his keep,
'Top the strong walls were warriors with oak argent marked,
'Twas wood strongest blended with the shimmering steel. (repeat line)

The old king died heirless, great nobles enquarreled,
Their foes boldly plotted their riches to steal,
A tournament cried to reveal God's new champion,
Was won by the March-Lord and his shimmering steel. (repeat line)

He marshalled his forces, united the barons,
Campaigns four in number to victory led he,
And quailed were the bold hearts, and foes on the marches,
Paid tribute to the war-host and its shimmering steel. (repeat line)

The army disbanded, a new heir is chosen,
A dukedom now granted as the Marcher-Lord's fief,
Strong sons to take pride in, the gift of his lady,
To teach the true meaning of the shimmering steel. (repeat line)

Savoring moments like sweat-meats he watches,
His lady, his children, the sun on his fields,
The firelight's glint in his wine cup a portent,
He again will be summoned by the shimmering steel,
For his fate is entwined with the shimmering steel.

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