1500 Stitches: diverse arts of Margaret Wolseley

Poetry and Songs

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In Barest Spring

A fabliaux in the style of Chaucer written March 2009 for the Duke Gyrth Oldcastle Memorial Smackdown.

In barest spring afore trees swell to bud,
When tracks and byways turn to naught but mud,
The sugared sap arises in the stem-
Likewise the heat within the blood of men.
So knights their finest swords and armor shine,
And martial prowess practice to refine.
Rich merchants in the town inspect their wares,
Preparing for the spring's fine feasts and fairs,
While farmers in the fields set forth to plough
And minstrels spin their songs, if you'll allow.

It was in spring, when knights rode forth in mail,
Their able horses prancing through the swale,
A season full of tourneys to begin,
Their noble ladies' favors for to win.
A comely lad beside the road they passed,
An innocent, of good will unsurpassed,
Was seized by the glory of their swords,
The opulence of all the graceful lords,
And longing for the splendid tournament,
Set forth anon to see his first event.

Once through the gate the buxom chatelaine
Bespied our lad, whose lack of clothes was plain,
And bustled him into her garderobe
Wherein his person she began to probe.
Of tunics she had twenty-large and small-
And so he doffed his shirt and tried them all
While she observed and gave him sound advice
Then smoothed and pinched, to lay the folds precise.
(How best to drape his tightly muscled form
Was obviously her singular concern.)
With gentle hands and bold, approving eyes
She spanned his well-proportioned calves and thighs.
Then hosen, breeches, chauses, trousers, braies,
She held before his body to appraise;
But none could she select until she knew
What width and breadth his hips and buttocks, too.
Obligingly the peasant dropped his drawers-
Forthwith he found him sprawled upon the floor.
Belike he also tripped the chatelaine,
For down she tumbled on the sturdy swain,
Her skirts uptossed in waves of disarray,
Her laces broke, her veil torn clear away.
But for a mound of clothing they'd been bruised
Instead they lay entangled and amused.

The clever chatelaine bespied a chance
To measure this fine lad, to fit his pants.
But when her dainty arms did ring his hips-
Enormous was the heat did prick her lips.
She sensing his inflamed and roused state
(And with his frenzied ardor could relate)
Then reasoned that 'twould do no good at all
To dress the shapely lad 'til he were small.
Afore the lad could speak but aught, or aye,
She strew her body cross his trembling thigh.
Anon the twain commenced a lusty moan:
Hers sharp soprano, his rich baritone.
And thus they lay entwined in wordless song
For certes the youth was virile, hard and strong.
And so the happy duo passed the time
Engaged thus in such a sport sublime.
Until her ministrations, and much use,
His fine upstanding swelling did reduce.
Still spread athwart his body, as she were,
Forsooth it seemed she'd lief as not bestir.
Instead his face she patted, kissed and stroked,
Until the fires once again were stoked.
Methinks he nowise longed to be withdrawn
For with a cry the thrusts commenced anon,
As fain they rolled endlong across the floor
With whoops of pleasure sounding out once more.

Eftsoons the peasant lad cried out "Enow!"
And wiped the beaded sweat from off his brow.
Then from the scattered raiments they arose,
Resuming thus their quest for proper clothes.
As verily she wist his form and size,
The fair youth she could now accessorize.
So shirt and hat and cloak she quick procured,
And doublet over hosen he endured.
Then pouch and goblet, plate and spoon,
She plucked from bundles whencesoever strewn,
Outfitting him with prompt and courteous air-
Neglectful of her office she was ne'er.
And when the lad, bedecked as fits a lord,
Had parted from her with a thankful word,
And to her chamber she repaired amain,
Then hither came another untried swain.
This chatelaine to duty was quite true:
This lad would need a hearty welcome, too.