Arthurian and Grail Poetry

Truces
by Michael Burch

Artur took Cabal, his hound,
and Carwennan, his knife,
   and his sword forged of Vulcan,
   and Merlyn, his falcon,
and, saying goodbye to his sons and his wife,
he strode to the Table Rounde.

“Here is my spear, Rhongomyniad,
and here is Wygar that I wear,
   and ready for war,
   an oath I foreswore
to fight for all that is righteous and fair
from Wales to the towers of Gilead.”

But none could be found to contest him,
for Lancelot had slewn them, forsooth,
so he hastened back home, for to rest him,
till his wife made him patch up the roof.

Notes: We must sometimes wonder if all the fighting related to King Arthur and his knights was really necessary. In particular, it seems that Lancelot fought and either captured or killed a fairly large percentage of the population of England. Could it be that Arthur preferred to fight than stay at home and do domestic chores? And, honestly now, if he and his knights were such incredible warriors, who would have been silly enough to do battle with them? Wygar was the name of Arthur’s hauberk, or armored tunic, which was supposedly fashioned by one Witege or Widia, quite possibly the son of Wayland Smith. Although the reference to Vulcan may seem out of place here, some legends do indeed suggest that Excalibur may have been forged upon the anvil of the smith-god Wayland, who was also known as Volund, which sounds suspiciously like Vulcan . . .

©Copyright by Michael Burch With Permission Kindly Provided for the Celtic Twilight