|John Lovelace - possible model for this man?|
Lord Lovelace rode home from the wars,
His wounds were black as ice,
While overhead the winter sun
Hung out its pale device.
The lance was tattered in his hand,
Sundered his axe and blade,
And in a bloody coat of war
Lord Lovelace was arrayed.
And he was sick and he was sore
But never sad was he,
And whistled bright as any bird
Upon an April tree.
‘Soon, soon,’ he cried, ‘at Lovelace Hall
Fair Ellen I shall greet,
And she with loving heart and hand
Will make my sharp wounds sweet.
‘And Young Jehan the serving-man
Will bring the wine and bread,
And with a yellow link will light
Us to the bridal bed.’
But when he got to Lovelace Hall
Burned were both wall and stack,
And in the stinking moat the tower
Had tumbled on its back.
And none welcomed Lord Lovelace home
Within the castle shell,
And ravaged was the land about
That Lord Lovelace knew well.
Long in his stirrups Lovelace stood
Before his broken door,
And slowly rode he down the hill
Back to the bitter war.
Nor mercy showed he from that day,
Nor tear fell from his eye,
And rich and poor both fearful were
When Black Lovelace rode by.
This tale is true that now I tell
To woman and to man,
As Fair Ellen is my wife’s name
And mine is Young Jehan.
For the full archive of past Saturday poems, visit Poetry Please in the Features.