Friend, when you and I were younger, and the world was strange and vast,
How our eager hearts would hunger for the legends of the past:
Dreams of swords and spears uplifted, gleaming armour in the sun,
Streams of banners bravely flying where the battle had begun.
Oh, to see the truth triumphant, setting Right ahead of Might,
Hear the gentle judgments afterward, at Court by candlelight,
Or the revelry and laughter while the merry minstrels sing
Of Heorot Hall with Grendel gone, or Camelot in Spring.
We have joined in joy and sadness with each hero in his plight,
Shared the fine inspired madness of La Mancha’s woeful knight;
Parents little know the path they chart for children when they bring
All the stories, songs, and sagas about Camelot in Spring.
How those visions filled our childhood, strengthened us as nothing could,
Put our world in moral order, set our standard of the good;
For the lessons that we heeded, shining from the printed page,
Were the virtues that were needed to bring on the Golden Age.
But perhaps our elders mocked our dreams of dragons on their hoards,
So, for lack of worthy foes, we packed away our magic swords;
Then our schools and jobs distracted us with all the work they bring,
And no more we thought of Heorot, or Camelot in Spring.
Bid farewell to bold adventures and our comrades of the mind,
To the Wizards wise and subtle, and the Ladies fair and kind,
To the Knights of the Round Table, and the Fellows of the Ring;
Farewell Narnia and Middle-Earth and Camelot in Spring.
But when danger came to challenge us, and fear cried, “hide or flee”,
What compelled us to embrace the threat, and not the coward’s plea?
Was it that we found the courage to confront it on our own,
Or had help from him of Heorot who fought the troll alone?
And the day we faced injustice, hypocrites who held truth caged,
Then we showed our true upbringing when our indignation raged,
Saying, “THIS is not the right way, THIS would not have pleased the King
Who set justice at the Table Round, at Camelot in Spring!”
And we’ve mourned for other dreamers who had followed the same star,
And who died before they ever knew if truth would win the war;
But their names still live within us, and in legend they will ring
Along with those of Heorot and Camelot in Spring.
What though now our world grows older, and our castles fade away?
Still our dreams can make us bolder, bear our standards through the fray;
Still the quest for honour bids us battle lies and unjust laws;
Still the memory of heroes gives us comrades in our cause --
Beowulf and mighty Arthur, they knew what the battle cost;
And their songs may lend us courage when we feel alone and lost.
Even in the darkest Winter, we can raise our voice to sing
Of the vision of the glory that was Camelot in Spring.
What if we should be forgotten, all our efforts go in vain,
Hopes and plans die misbegotten, with but insults for our pain?
What if no-one hears our story? Still, they’ll know us when they sing
Of all those who dreamed the glory that was Camelot in Spring.
C.M. Joserlin, “Raven”, lives in the Kingdom of Northshield.
Regarding his piece, he says: "In memory of Sergei Ivanovich Zaroodny, 1821-1887 and 1910-1981, both of whom fought to bring a just world into being. Their name has outlived tyranny."
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