The Ballad Of
Christina and Divina
In a cottage near the hill, past the stream, past the mill, see her there waiting still, the one they call Christina. Near the thorny beds of rose, plucking weeds that skyward chose, scented herbs under her nose, the other called Divina. Through the fields of golden rye, comes a knight riding by, with an errand from on high, sees the young Christina. Through the lattice kneeling there, near the rustic garden chair, 'neath her long and flowing hair, the lady named Divina. Purple cloak and rings of gold, jewel encrusted sword to hold, rides the knight ever bold, near the young Christina. Hooves they gallop through the grass, wondrous garden he does pass, feet in stirrups made of brass, past lady Divina. On he rode tried and true, one of the kings trusted few, past the flowers bright and new, away from young Christina. Errand firmly set in mind, treads the hills that he does find, knows he that which left behind, the lady named Divina. Now the chores are all but done, as they watch the setting sun, 'cross the table, talk of fun, sits the young Christina. Down the lane and past the stream, sees the village lights a-gleam, memory of the knight a dream, recites lady Divina. Now in the village square they stand, acquaintances close at hand, banter of some foreign land, the fairest young Christina. Wonder if they'll see again, horseman first or driving rain, through their coloured window pane, ponders lady Divina. As they rise in early morn', crimson red the painted dawn, past the garden stands a fawn, beholds the young Christina. Perceives her sisters outward glance, whatever does she see by chance, her mind as far away as France, forgets lady Divina. Out from the rear stained glass door, her footfalls silent on the floor, from her home the fawn does draw, the lovely young Christina. Through silent wood into a dell, all manner of strange creatures dwell, the fawn is fleet and running well, forgotten by Divina. Legs are weary, slow at last, as a backward glance she cast, missed the tree root falling fast, frightened young Christina. The earth rose to meet her face, never troubled by her lace, a rock has set her dreams a-race, missing her Divina. Hunting high and low she finds, pathway through rye grass that winds the gloaming wood closes its blinds, missing young Christina. Voice rings out in desperate call, not knowing where to look at all, her aching heart will surely stall, within lady Divina. Lyrical she calls out loud, the knight is passing like a cloud, with his squire into the shroud, towards the young Christina. Like a bride calling her groom, search past branches like a broom, torch light spills to break the gloom, nearing lady Divina. Stumbles into the dell this night, though the moon is glowing bright, feet are snagged and taking flight, toward the young Christina. Heavily now she does land, feels her sisters frozen hand, tears fall stinging like a brand, from lady Divina. Fearing that she is too late, feels the horrid grin of fate, never counted on this date, beside the cold Christina. Sensing life begin to slide, hears a heartbeat deep inside, now in God she does confide, the lady named Divina. Into the dell the squire and knight, bathed in silver soft moonlight, will end the maidens dreadful plight, look down upon Christina. He is a knight and not a knave, come with squire for to save, maidens from an early grave, looked down upon Divina. Now they are each on a steed, squire trots and takes the lead, death itself has turned and fleed, from the young Christina. An owl sees horses jumping roots, feet are bound with leather boots, at this spectacle he hoots, sleeping lady Divina. Past the cottage, past the hill, hooves they thunder past the mill, through the village quiet and still, Carrying Christina. Riding with the summer breeze, through a grove of apple trees, late at night and no one sees, Carrying Divina. A highwayman from out of sight, wants to try his luck this night, confident to win this fight, sees the young Christina. His black gloved hand holds his sword higher, recognising the knight and squire, his mistake may send him to hells fire, sees lady Divina. Squire raises muscly frame, draws his sword and takes his aim, highwayman’s hand, 'twas a shame, still sleeps young Christina. Sword of the knight flashes past, highwayman's head dropping fast, death shall claim a soul at last, still sleeps lady Divina. Bought with coinage from his greed, stands a pure bred Arab steed, from its owner has been freed, pursues waning Christina. To the castle now they race, armour meets the moons embrace, faster now and grim a face, burdened for Divina. Hooves ablaze on the approach, and no parley did they broach, two horsemen without reproach, carry waning Christina. Down below a sparkling moat, bobs a small shallop afloat, drawbridge behind and whipping coat, burdened for Divina. Into the stables now they ride, scabbard's gleaming by their side, to a tended warm bedside, the squire and Christina. Booted steps he can not hide, in his squire he does confide, to a tended warm bedside, the knight carries Divina. They both wake in golden bed, fruit and wine set at the head, squire waiting there instead, engages young Christina. Apple juice now on her face, drapes made of the finest lace, her knight has come to take his place, betrothed lady Divina.
By Roger Vincent – author of
“Apostrophe to Zenith A Book of Poems”