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The Jolly Joust
'Twas a bright merry morn, when the shadows were shorn off the castle walls, moldy and musty. And a new novice knight rode off for to fight o'er a maiden so lovely and lusty. All the sparkling spires were gaily attired fluttering flags gray and green, black and blue. Which did poorly portend, a foul fight that did send that brave young man out, tried and true. Though our knight was not able, as you'll see in this fable to wield well the short sword and spear. When things get too mucky he makes out quite lucky but that part's for later, not here! His name, though it's brief, is Sir Loin of Beef and his lady love's name is Laverne. Who he met only once, o'er a keg of rum punch that he tipsily toppled at the tavern. So recklessly he pursued her, visits, letters to woo her heedless of the dire consequences. And the maiden replied, although somewhat shy in the manner of all new romances. Now the Duke of Hazard desired, indeed he also aspired to win that fair maid-as did all men. Though his efforts were great, he could not get a date for there weren't drive-in movies back then. Though they never had met, he'd swear on a bet that he was the man who could tame her. For her slender hand, he had made a gold band and Duchess of Hazard he'd name her. Feared by all save the King, for the terror he brings his foul name was not given by chance. To a bully so mean, for he never fought clean nine noble knights fell to his lance. Now the Duke quickly learned why the lady did spurn the riches and gifts he bestowed. For Laverne you see, fell for Sir Loin of Beef ah, the ways of romance, who can know? Dukely tantrums he threw, while serfs hid from view echoing through his cold castle aisles. Donning armor and coat, he jumped into the moat to cool off, he wrestled . . . . crocodiles! Forthwith he sent, trembling heralds to vent by proxy his frustration and rage. And a challenge he gaveth, to that, foul surly knaveth that dared mess around with his "babe!" So Sir Loin as I've stated, left his castle ill-fated to fight for his life and his love. His journey was long with contemplation and song 'till he saw the tall spires high above. Both arrived at the fields, where their arms they would wield two pavilions were quickly erected. The Duke's big and black, blood red flags at half-mast while Sir Beef's looked so drab and dejected. Many thousands arrived knowing one man would die as rapidly the stands were a-filling. And at least some could say there was murder that day for the popcorn vendors made a killing. Sir Beef did divine, a serious sign as he saw the Dark Duke afar off. Rough and coarse, laughing loud, as he pushed through the crowd while to he, trembling men, caps would doff. As the huge man stumped nearer, his visage became clearer long black hair, barbarous beard, bulbous nose. Beady eyes took to staring, bushy brows helped in glaring as he sized up his poor-pint-sized foe. Quoth the knave in tone surly, matching body so burly, "forsooth thou shalt die where thou standeth." And Sir Loin with knees knocking, stood his ground, although rocking lest forever a coward he be brandeth. "I, I, I, be not feared of thee", slowly stuttered he. "with my sword, I shall fight to the end... for the fair, fatuous tart, who brings joy to my heart her high honor, I doth dare to defend!" The Duke's veins fairly throbbed as hushed grew the mob and he struggled to master his ire. From his cavernous chest, rumbled words cold as death a prophetic funeral pyre. "Then die like a dog thou pip-squeak pollywog! To horse and I will thy score settle. In a trice thou shalt see, no one defies me don thy helm and I'll soon test thy mettle." Forthwith two stalwart steeds of Arabian breed were led out, the two foes for to take. And before a pavilion, draped in blue and vermilion to the King, salutes they did make. At each end of the lists, in the damp morning mists expertly the big knight leveled his lance. Sir Beef faced him shivering, his slender spear quivering as his nervous horse whirled and pranced. With the trumpet's loud blast, both knights charged real fast as Sir Loin shook his head to see clearer. As through his helmet he saweth, that black knight closer draweth his lance point bouncing nearer...nearer!! A shattering crash, and a tinny hollow bash resounded from the colliding pair. But our small knight did duck and by divine luck miss the point of that lance by a hair. But his horse was nearsighted, as well, over bited and oafishly clumsy to boot. And he tripped just before they, the black Duke, could gore thank heaven for portentous tree roots! Now they both tumbled down, crashing onto the ground with arms and legs all a-flailing. They with labor arose, both men watching his foe drawing swords they began, each assailing. Sir Loin was no match for the Black Duke's attack with huge sword shining cold in the sun. Battering, bashing with bludgeon, smashing shield, crushing cudgeon soon Sir Loin wilted, nearly done. So the sharp sword soared up, for one last mortal cut as the Duke rocked far back on his heels. Sir Loin saw at a glance, his one slender chance and he struck with all of his zeal. But his sword swung too slow and struck a low blow at a joint of the knight's armored thigh. And by fortune's fair course, gave a royal charley horse to that arrogant black-hearted guy. Unorthoxically struck, like a future Mac Truck the Duke dropped his sword with a bellow. Hopping up and downeth, twisting, turning, running roundeth for his bulk, a quite nimble fellow. Indeed by blind lucketh, that same sword stayed stucketh tightly tucked twixt that same armored crack. And so majestically, like a tall toppling tree the Duke came to earth with a smack. Having no wrapping tape at this world's early date Sir Loin just sat down on the knight. On the ground crying, cursing, with ad-libbed vile versing for the Duke was not out of the fight. But Sir Loin when in need was resourceful indeed placing pinky inside tight armored crease. As he tickled the Duke, who laughed till he puked thus the winner was, "Sir Loin of Beef!" The people were stunned at what he had done every popcorn bag poised as they stared. For few could believe, what they had just seen and their eyes slowly scanned prostrate pair. Then a thunderous roar to the heavens did soar from ten thousand quivering cords. For down on that field, the Black Duke did yield to Sir Loin's pinky and not to his sword. How the stripling did bask in his glorious task and he rose to his feet yelling loud. For his sweetheart Laverne, his brave heart did yearn and his eyes eagerly scanned o'er the crowd. But as much as he cared and as hard as he stared Laverne's seat was empty and cold. Indeed it was bare, the only one there missing she, that he so longed to hold. And tragically speaking, from Sir Loin's eyes came leaking the tears that he wished could now reach her. And with militant madness, mixed with sorrow and sadness he long looked o'er now barren bleachers. But Laverne was long gone, leaving scents and a song for she was a child of the nineties. A more sensitive soul, one Percy of Lowe had impressed her with his sensitive sighing. So the Duke and Sir Loin, their forces did join having no reason left to now fight. Becoming best buds, the Wimp and the Stud they rode into the sunset, out of sight.
Some liberties were taken with old english: doth dare..., knaveth, gaveth, saweth, draweth, etc. 'Cudgeon' was a purposeful play on the word 'cudgel' to rhyme it with 'bludgeon.'
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