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.