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Long ago, when I was nothing but a lad,
Sweet and heroic dreams I had once had.
Wishing to ride valiantly into warfare upon a noble steed,
For the chance to carry out a famous deed.
The toughest among my evil foes: the dragon,
Who plundered and burned all the peasants and wagons,
He cared not for the puny people killed by his dragon fire
Any person close enough was caught up in his ire.
The searing inferno killed livestock and wheat fields,
And could even melt the strongest of shields.
The she-dragons were worse than the males,
Breathing icy wind down from the heavens like hale
Any one outside would be frozen in death instantly
Even armored knights would venture from cover hesitantly.
But no matter the danger I am forced to face,
I would not run in fear from harm; it I would rather chase.
Chase it back into the depths of fiery Hell,
Then come home to ring the victory bell.
A beautiful wife I would take as my bride,
Sowing seeds of love to bear a son to stand by my side.
Together we would fight all who stand in the way of our righteous glory,
Fighting evil throughout the night until late morning.
Consumed by these fancy dreams I once was,
Yet, they did not appeal to me after my chin had sign of fuzz.
Now, the power of knowledge was my one true desire,
Burning in my soul like a forge’s white fire.
No longer did I wish to ride a steed into historic battles,
Riding bare back instead of upon a leather saddle.
This I would never recommend,
For it causes great pain, especially to men.
Safer paths are concealed within books,
Although they do not bring justice to unruly crooks.
The gain from learning is still used for good
Such as the inner workings of laws well understood.
New discoveries I made day after day
Never stopping, for even the briefest moment, to go out and play.
I grew more mature before my age permitted me to,
By the age of fourteen, I could expertly create a shoe.
A cobbler was not my dream career, nor was a life wasted in perpetual study,
I wished for a well-honored job, one that did not get my boots muddy.
Essential items for self-dependency was my main aim,
What good would life be if it were boring and lame?
For years I have reaped the benefits of my life
Alas, I still mourn by belated wife,
Who bore me three sturdy sons; strapping young lads,
Reminding me fondly of their wonderful dad.
Death spread quickly throughout the surrounding lands
Tightening my life into a constricting band.
My eldest son, Lac was his name,
An expert in hunting any kind of game,
Contracted this sickness through passionate love.
The first day he had not brought home food, not even a dove,
Was the first sign to me of trouble was near.
I ran to fetch my second eldest son who knows no tangible fear.
“Lac has been infected,” I began to cry aloud,
But suddenly my son fell face first with eyes covered in death’s shroud.
My third son was nowhere to be found,
I looked everywhere upon the frozen ground.
Three years has passed since the death of my family.
What, you may ask, has become of misfortunate me?
Hope has not left my troubled soul,
The roof of my small house is adorned with a newly acquired hole.
My pride and arrogance are what keep me on my feet, and not giving up,
It has been a while since I have had the chance to sup.
Emaciated and weakening through many days of bleakness
I dare not reveal to any person my heart’s weakness.
My ailments bring pain time and time again,
I try to think back to the better times way back when.
Regret fills me as I wish to become what I wanted to be, a knight,
Shining in armor that reflects the sun's glorious light.
Compromises made me become an unsuccessful woodcutter,
One who could not even make, let alone afford, his own butter.
Nevertheless, with strong belief, dreams may still come true.
I stood up from my sick bed and shaped a sword from a felled yew.
Practice makes perfect, or so the wise say.
I can attest to that, for I worked hard day by day.
Perfection never came to me; I did not expect it in the least,
Since selling services as a swordsman, I can now greatly feast.
Roasted meat, spiced vegetables, and glasses of imported wine,
Had a nice touch and fitted my lifestyle just fine,
But this did not truly suit me; old age was closing in fast,
Only another fifteen years or so my body would last.
I make a journey towards my Lord’s impregnable castle of stone,
I passed by villages where people walked alone,
This place was somber, more than any I have ever known.
Upon arriving at the castle’s gates, I spotted a peculiar man alone.
An insane man, passerby whispered in my ear,
They were surprised when I did not show an ounce of fear.
The mote before me stretched on at length,
Showing the Lord Bavillier’s mighty strength.
Undeterred, I strode right into the fancy courtyard,
There, I was greeted by the court bard.
He sang of my victories throughout this land of nightmares,
As he did so, I began to think of life as fair.
Although my family lay forgotten, except by me, in the ground,
To see beauty, I have only to take a look around.
Looking at the joys of what life has to offer,
No matter if wages are dropping from a depleted coffer.
Lord Bavillier, in all his radiance and nobleness,
Did not notice his son wander off to find an infected kiss.
I strode quickly up the Hall of Might in which he dwells
Jumping at the sound of alarming bells.
“Do not be alarmed, my good old friend, it is the greeting of your arrival,” said he,
“Together, tonight, we shall toast to victory!”
An enormous feast was prepared for a long night of merrymaking,
My lord winked at me and said many women were mine for the taking.
I could not, however, go against the love of my belated wife,
Such sacrilege will surely end in with the pain of strife.
Alas, when the feast ended, and it was time to retire,
I was troubled and could not sleep, and so called for the Lord’s squire.
“Lad,” I gently whispered into his youthful ear,
“I feel cold. My vision seems to dim. Death is near.”
The passing of such a courageous and noble knight spread like wildfire
For what other knight could escape the misfortunes of the Dark Mire?
The funeral befitted a king, and was held the following week
Lord Bavillier stood before the mass, his graying hair soft and sleek,
He boldly announced the life and misfortunes of the late Knight.
The famous speech ended many hours later, at the end of day’s light,
The Knight was burned upon a table inlaid with designs of gold,
His story is one that will forever be told.