The holidays are upon us. Here’s the lyrics to the first part of a medieval Christmas ballad I wrote a number of years ago.“Sir Uwain’s Quest ( A Christmas Miracle) by Catherine Kane writing under the name of Catherine du Fay It was the feast of Christmas day, at Arthur’s table round When in there burst a peasant who fell fainting the ground. “Oh Arthur King” the peasant cried “a fearsome wyrm has come; And if you don’t aid us swiftly we shall surely be undone…” King Arthur rose in glory and cried out to all at hand. “Now who will be my champion to bring peace back to my land?’ Then silence fell like tolling bell. No man would meet his eye; And, of all the noble knights there, only Uwain answered “I.” Now, least amongst King Arthur’s knights, yet strong and kind was he; And wealth and rank are less than courage, truth and chivalry. They beat the drums. They waved the flags. They cheered him on his way, And Sir Uwain of King Arthur’s court rode forth to face the day… The snow was deep. the air was cold. A fearsome wind did blow; When Uwain found an aged woman struggling in the snow. “Oh noble knight!” the woman cried “oh help me now, I pray, For the wind is cold and savage and my home is miles away.” Sir Uwain lept down lightly and bowed deeply to the crone. “It is not mete your sainted years should perish miles from home. My horse shall bear you swiftly there before the fading light And I only ask you, good wife, that you pray for me tonight.” “Oh blessings on you, noble knight! ” the ancient woman cried. “The Grace of God upon you on this sacred Christmas tide!” And on she rode, still blessing him for all he’d done that day, And, amidst the cold and silent snow, Sir Uwain made his way. The snow was deep. the air was cold. A fearsome wind did blow; When Uwain found a tattered urchin struggling in the snow. “The wind bites hard, oh noble knight” the child cried out in pain, And, if you don’t aid me, I shall never see the sun again.” Sir Uwain knelt and doffed his cloak amidst the falling snow, And wrapped the child up in it, safe from all the winds that blow. “Pray take this cloak as Heaven’s gift to keep you warm and dry For it is not mete to fail to act, and thus let children die.” “Oh blessings on you, noble knight! ” the tattered urchin cried. “The Grace of God upon you on this sacred Christmas tide!” With shining eyes, he blessed him long for all he’d done that day, And, amidst the cold and silent snow, Sir Uwain made his way……..”
The rest of the story will appear in this blog next week.