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Living in the shadow of the castle filled me with awe,

That from a young age I learnt the way of the sword.

Ever impressed by soldiers passing by –

One day to join their ranks as fighter or spy.

I trained hard and educated my mind.

Village elders knew to which path I was inclined,

And military scouts were often impressed

Of how with fighting skills I had been blessed.

 

Upon my sixteenth birthday I was given my father’s blade,

And presented to the Queen in a parade

Of the Kingdom’s finest new talent from far and near,

Who would defend the Empire for many a year.

Before that day, I had only seen the castle grounds in sleep,

But now there was another reason my heart skipped a beat:

Princess Elisha – as dazzling as the midday sun.

In a new direction my life had spun.

 

To this future monarch I would dedicate my career

To win her heart through deeds of which she’d hear.

I fought in foreign lands and defended these fair shores

Just to see Elisha’s face when the Queen gave me reward.

Each time a smile or a curtsy – but underneath there was more.

How could a lowly soldier win the heart of one so pure?

Then a chance came to join the Queen’s elite guard.

Yet, from Elisha’s presence I was completely barred.

 

For I was elected to go on a quest for rare, far-off treasures

That would leave no time for love-seeking pleasures.

I travelled over snowy waste and mountain peak,

Tracing her name in stars, the only solace I could seek.

Through the years artefacts were gathered, beasts were slain,

But my mind was preoccupied with when I’d see Elisha again.

All the riches of this quest – gold, silver and pearls,

I would gladly swap to be in her world.

 

Twenty years later, all the loot for the Queen had been gathered,

And I was returning home, middle-aged, done-in, knackered.

But with realisation I would see Elisha soon –

I could have danced all over the moon.

Sadly, upon returning to present gifts to the Queen,

I saw something I had prayed I’d never see:

Elisha in the arms of a prince from a neighbouring state.

My chance had been and past, I was too late.

 

How foolish was I for believing she’d hold out for so long?

Now there would be no music or words to my heart’s song.

 

 

 

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