There is a castle on the hill,
A king sat there in days of old.
His knights were brave, his ladies fair,
The pinnacle of brave and bold
Minstrels there were, and jesters sharp.
Ministers with wisdom deep.
Priests and monks in cloistered nooks,
All knowledge gathered in his keep
There was a knight, a lady fair,
A false man and a desperate fight,
A riven kingdom, empty hope,
A funeral pyre and fading light,
The story’s old and patched with songs
On threads that wore out long ago
Who knows the truth of treasure there
Before the final overthrow
Young lads go there to try their hand
Digging the vaults and dusty hall
The tombs are empty, nothing’s there
A bird’s nest in a broken wall.
Some nights, when Venus sails the sky
And Mars is courting near the moon
They say that ghostly dancers whirl
To echoes of an ancient tune
Splendour and crowns have tumbled down
The painted walls have faded pale
And while we bustle round our lives
Dust slowly settles on the tale.
As I’m gearing up for the release of King’s Silver, I’m revisiting my previous dips into medieval fantasy. I wrote this a long while ago, but I thought it would be fun to share it again. It’s one of the favourite poems I’ve written.