In a kingdom in the north there stands a solitary knight.
He sits atop his horse high on a hill.
He keeps one hand on his blade, always prepared to fight.
For his king, a foe he’d swiftly kill.
His free hand gently strokes the long mane of his brindle steed.
A teardrop forms so slowly in his eye.
His mind turns back to long ago, his last heroic deed.
He shakes his head and breathes a weary sigh.
Behind the knight a castle stands, once home of his dear king,
tall as the trees and black as starry night.
On his finger still he wears the royal signet ring,
but no squire has he by his side.
The castle turrets crumble and the moat remains dry.
No tapers burn in sconces, clear and bright.
Ivy clambers up the walls, bats through the towers fly.
Weeds choke out the early morning light.
In the great hall thrones sit empty, no court jester plays.
The kitchen sits cold with no oven fire.
No servants run on the long stairs all through the night and day.
In the chapel sits no jolly friar.
No longer does the brittle stone keep out the summer rain.
Bedrooms fill with winter ice and snow.
No horses nicker, eager, in the stable down the lane.
But the knight has nowhere else to go.
The knight will stand there waiting till his very last day.
In his heart, the kingdom always new.
“We won’t look behind us, dear one,” to his mount he says,
“but to our duty always remain true.”
2 thoughts on “The Knight On the Hill”
This whole poem feels like the day after the last battle between Arthur and Mordred – this is the mood that most of those novelizations of Arthur try to go for, but often miss. I really like it!
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank you so much, I’m so glad you like it! That is very much the aesthetic I was going for, it’s so great to know that it was effective! There is so much deeper meaning in that legendary tale that is so affecting… Thank you again.