Divers and strong rebellious Lords
Dueled Arthur in the game of swords!
To the Barons the Saxons came
To put Logres to sword and flame.
King Arthur armed. King Arthur marched
To save London from being torched
By rebel-traitor named Colgrin
Who beaten off, lost many men.
Lord Colgrin fought before he flees
As round him he disaster sees
His levies – those alive – in rout.
From Arthur’s trap he scurries out
On horseback riding for the North
Ruing the day he had marched forth.
Arthur pursued him without pause
To quickly end the rebel’s cause.
Baldulf, Cheldric both bar his way:
No beardless boy will they obey!
King Arthur’s army arms and falls
Upon York town. Invested walls
By Arthur’s men leagued miles around.
The townsmen besieged hear the sound
Of catapult and mangonel
Whose missiles from the heavens fell
Crushing defenders underneath.
Lord Colgrin prays for some relief.
Lord Baldulf tried to raise the siege
Rebelling ‘gainst his lawful liege.
Might Arthur fight? King Arthur would:
And Baldulf’s vain advance withstood
In turn advanced and made attack
Forcing Lord Baldulf’s army back
Towards the coast with fearful slaughter
Lord Baldulf’s men backed to the water.
Baldulf that day he lives to rue.
Colgrin breaks siege. He flees anew
Southwards for refuge with his brother
Hoping one might save the other.
Cheldric brings Saxon warbands
To bar the king, against him stands.
They battle over field and plain.
The Saxons fight – but fight in vain.
They skirmish over hill and dell
Saxons their lives they dearly sell.
The rebels fight. The rebels die.
Lord Cheldric sees. In misery
He there decides to end his life
Amidst the striking battle-strife
And plunged into a host of foes
Fights to the last as down he goes.
Weary of death by day and night
The Saxons weary of the fight.
Lord Cheldric dead. Why are they here?
Their resolve fainted into fear.
Baldulf fights on. His eyes are hard
But Baldulf’s live is now ill-starred.
He makes a last desperate attack
But enemy spears thrust front to back
Baldulf lies dead, by shafts impaled.
His rebellion had also failed.
Colgrin is left. His men advance
Charging on horse with leveled lance
They surge o’er plan and over hill
To seek their king – and him to kill!
King Arthur watches and he sees.
His sword from scabbard deftly frees
With mounted men he bravely rides
To cut off Colgrin from both sides.
Cavalries meet. The horses plunge.
Lances are thrown. The swordsmen lunge.
Horses are down. Men underneath
Pull down more riders to the heath.
The battle steed with iron hooves
Strikes powerfully. The man who moves
Too slow is left cut down or dead
Too frequently without his head.
Those who withstand the battle-shock
In close melee now interlock
In deadly blows of hand-to-hand
Over the plain unwooded land.
King Arthur wields Excalibur
With awful force. Its skirling blur
Of steel shatters shield and helms
And slicing armour overwhelms
All enemies. Arthur divines
Lord Colgrin in the battle lines
And quickly surges to advance.
Colgrin sees him and takes his chance
To end it all, to end it here.
For what is death? Nothing to fear.
Excalibur like burning light
Circles too fast for mortal sight
Lord Colgrin looks up with surprise
One last time with his hate-filled eyes.
Excalibur his helmet cleaves.
Colgrin’s black soul his body leaves.
The rebels dead. Most Saxons slain
Whose bodies litter all the plain.
Survivors flee – they are but few
Who must be forced for peace to sue.
They’re penned up quickly in a wood
With some water, but little food
In part of forest Caledon.
But King Arthur knew he had won.
The survivors he close beset
Royal patrols slew all they met.
The king’s archers infest the trees
To pick off all the men they please.
Those few now left capitulate
Before death too becomes their fate.
They kneel before the king and swear
Against Logres to never bear
Their arms again. The king’s command:
They shall return to their own land.
Soon by boat the Saxons leave.
Arthur has bought his land reprieve.
He has withstood the latest test.
Now time to heal, rebuild, and rest.
King Arthur’s army soon disbands
Most make return to farms and lands.
While others rest, the king cannot.
So on the way to Camelot
He with Merlin deliberates
How best to defend his estates
How best to build, how best to plan,
Amongst his lords who is the man
To watch and who the man to trust?
The king thinks on such things. He must!
To watch. To wait. To grow. To ward.
Complacency kings can’t afford.