The Crimson Lord


James’s Note: This poem is inspired by old folk ballads and fantasy literature. Feel free to mentally superimpose your favorite Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings characters onto the charterers of this poem. Also, much like how you can sing any Emily Dickinson poem to the tune of “Yellow Rose of Texas”, you could sing this one to the tune of either “Iko Iko” or “Matty Groves”.


My Lord was decked out all in green.

Your lord was dressed in red.

Two shining hosts were gathered close

to hear what would be said

My lord was far too sharp of tongue

and hotly cursed your lord.

Your lord’s steel was sharper still;

he struck with flashing sword.

His blood flew high, lit by the sun

and before it hit the ground,

in burning wrath the armored mass

was embattled all around

I drew my great two handed sword,

as heavy as the tomb.

The honor guard, their banner charred

all fell before it’s doom.

Your lord rushed to meet my wrath,

a stunning figure made,

but the crimson lord’s fine red steel sword

was shattered by my blade.

As I went for the killing blow,

his hilt fell from his hand.

The hero red of battles dread,

spun like the wind and ran.

As he ran, he passed a horse

who’s rider had been felled.

He turned its head and on it fled,

like they were chased by hell.

Even though I bent my breast

and ran with all my might,

my heavy feet were far from fleet,

my armor far from light.

I roared out my bleeding hate

and flung my great sword round.

End over end the blade did spin

and struck him to the ground.

I drew forth my bloody blade

that struck him to the core.

He drew a breath as cold as death

and then he drew more.

The battle raged, we fought for days.

The pillage fires glowed,

until your men, these crimson kin

across the river flowed.

Now my host is shattered

and I stand the field alone.

A thousand swords that loved your lord

surround like standing stones.

I’ve lost my shield, I’ve lost my sword,

my dagger and my bow,

but any knave that thinks him brave

I’ll slay with just one blow.

I should not live if my lord dies

and so I take this stand.

Come and seek your vengeance bleak

and kill me if you can.

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