The Ballad of Sir Mantis

From my upcoming fantasy novel, Flight of the Raven. I hope it isn’t too obscure without the story as backdrop.

The Ballad of Sir Mantis

By the shores of Whent, in ages gone,
white spires stretched so high.
Towers, tall, flew banners bold;
scarlet lion, vanilla sky.

Proud Mantis Town, the kingdom’s gem,
watched over and justly ruled
by hedge knight, brave, with daughter, fair;
the brightest of his jewels.

O maidens, come! Hear the tale of noble knight, Sir Mantis.

Evil broke on golden shores
foul witches, one, two, three.
The regal Lords, a treaty signed,
to keep Whent’s children free.

When solstice sun in summer sets,
to Crones’ Hill must acquiesce
a maiden, chaste, fair of face;
nothing more and nothing less.

O maidens, come! Hear the tale of loving sire, Sir Mantis.

Then dawned the day the father feared,
his armour and mighty shield
could not protect his daughter, sweet,
in stone her dread fate sealed.

A rage like none the world had known,
made reckless the mighty sword.
On forest foul, his charger fell
in defiance of his Lord.

O maidens, come! Hear the tale of fallen knight, Sir Mantis.

A gleaming knight and fifty blades
with thirst for old-world crones,
in darkness deep, found waking sleep;
now empty lie their homes.

By the shores of Whent, in ages gone,
where spires once stretched high,
‘A father’s love, his village doomed,’
the ghostly ruins cry.

O maidens, come! Ware the tale of endless night, poor Mantis.

Ryan Stone


24 thoughts on “The Ballad of Sir Mantis

  1. So before I read the poem, I just read the introductory bit and at the words “upcoming novel” I abandoned my phone to dance around making excited squealing noises for about thirty seconds straight. πŸ™‚ Congratulations, Ryan – that’s really amazing news & I’m very happy for you! As for the poem itself, fantasy is not my usual genre but it still makes sense to a beginner like me… I think my interpretation is that Sir Mantis broke the treaty out of love for his daughter but was unable to rescue her and the whole town came to ruins as a result? Very elegantly woven and I like the use of repetition; it adds atmosphere πŸ™‚ πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yusra! Thank you so much πŸ™‚
      It is still a little way off, but the end is in sight. It’s been a lot of work. Your interpretation is spot on and I really appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
      Any more slams on your calendar?

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome! So proud of you for getting this far. Writing a novel is no easy task! It will all be worth it in the end! πŸ˜€

        Rumour has it there may be a slam next semester, so we’ll see what happens 😬 I was thinking to take some time off from the blog this year to focus on novel-writing too, especially since I totally failed Nano πŸ™ˆ I have been reading a few plotting/pacing books recently (including the Take Off Your Pants!one which you suggested! – thanks again for that recommendation!) and have found them helpful, so I’m feeling enthused and inspired πŸ˜€ Let’s hope this is a productive writing year for all of us! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Your story telling prowess shined here! A ballad at its best! Such a sad but beautiful story. You did such an excellent job to keep the story strong and forceful, and even though it is but part of a whole story, it can firmly stand on its own two feet.
    I am happy you wrote it! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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