Rhyming Couplets: The Fifth Pilgrim

Five pilgrims made their way upon the road;
From shining dawn to gloomy dusk they strode
On narrow lanes and ancient highways broad,
Through thoroughfares and pathways seldom trod.
A silk-clad noble walked with staff so fine,
His loyal servant always next in line.
Two sisters followed, standing always near;
Alone, a blonde-haired lady held the rear.
When evening came, the the group would sometimes stay
The night in stables, bedded in the hay.
Their hosts would offer food in charity;
The pilgrims would accept it gratefully.
One sister was with child and hungered more,
For her meal was split with the one she bore.
The one who walked alone, with golden hair,
Would always offer up some of her share.
They crossed over the rocky mountains’ height
That tested their endurance and their might.
Down a ravine the servant lost his staff;
The lady gave him hers and had a laugh.
Between two towns, as sunset crept to dark,
Three highwaymen thought them an easy mark.
They drew their swords and circled for the kill;
The sisters quailed, the servant froze quite still.
The noble called out to the lady fair
Then threw his gilded staff up in the air.
The lady caught the shaft of sturdy wood
And twixt the pilgrims and the bandits stood.
They laughed and charged, their blades raised overhead;
She struck three times and smote the robbers dead.
She asked the noble, who seemed not alarmed,
“Why give your staff to me and be unarmed?”
“Your pardon,” he began, “but your disguise
Is not enough to hide you from my eyes.
For fortitude you’ve shown, and charity,
Compassion, honor, and humility.
Though you’ve no armor, nor a sword to wield,
You bear six roses white on your red shield.
I know your army lost a battle near
The place where our new pilgrim did appear.
You home lies down this road but two more days,
And have no fear, I’ll not give you away.”
She smiled then, the unmasked knight in red,
And walked on where the pilgrim’s pathway led.

Updated: August 11, 2013 — 8:43 pm
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