Heroic Crown of Sonnets: The Princess (Sensual)

I stood upon the ancient parapet,
yes, recklessly atop the castle walls
the stone was slick, and gray and still so wet
from rain that night had brought with heavy fall.
My room below was safe, and dry and pink;
a letter waited there on filmy bed;
high, high upon the wall I went to think
to clear the sighs and tangles from my head.
The letter had a seal that made me cold,
it glittered in the window’s dawny light;
I knew the ink inside would be black, bold;
unopened, it had lay there all the night.
I walked the parapet in ache and doubt;
my gown was caught by wind and blown about.
My gown was caught by wind and blown about;
I wobbled then, and grasped a jutting wall,
but let it go; yes, heedlessly I’d flout
caution’s bounds and tempt a deadly fall;
I didn’t care; my stomach thrilled inside
to see how high, how very high I stood;
I lifted chin, and arms I opened wide
and played at bird; I thought the feeling good.
I frolicked then, atop the windy stone
and felt the wind press right against my eyes;
I stumbled back to roof, too fiercely blown
but parapet I climbed again; this rise
did not concern me with its heady threat;
I gave great thought to where each foot was set.
I gave great thought to where each foot was set;
another hour I spent there in the sun,
until the stone showed not a bit of wet
and I was tired of airy, windy fun.
Then I sought out my room and letter there,
which waited still; I broke the royal seal
and thick black words then rose and grimly stared
quite heedless of the way they made me feel.
My father wrote; he ordered me away
to meet him in great castle in the east.
A bridegroom waited, in his fine array,
a mighty match was made, and mighty feast.
I packed my trunks, and trousseau and my flute,
I wore my beaded shoes along my route.
I wore my beaded shoes along my route,
they made me feel that all would turn out well;
but then the man could be a wicked brute;
we’d never met, I had no way to tell.
My father made me travel in disguise;
in abbot’s clothes I traveled with the priests,
and in this way he kept me from men’s eyes-
so few I’d seen! (They told me men were beasts.)
We traveled days; a man then joined our train;
I saw his face! I loved! My heart was hot!
I watched him through the window and in pain;
desire stirred; but this I’d never sought.
I pulled my clothes away from legs within;
the sun was bright and warmed my chilly skin.
The sun was bright and warmed my chilly skin;
the man was walking by my carriage door;
I loved the beard upon his very chin,
I felt no woman ever loved before!
We stopped the night in town with so few rooms,
and host, unknowing, bunked the man with me!
I called him to my bed, my longing womb
then told me there was something more to see…
He thought me man, so I pulled off my clothes
and offered then my troth to plight and give
or he should leave! He said, “My passion shows!
Yes! Give me ring and share the life I live!”
He taught me joy throughout that magic night!
I laughed deep, low, with sweetness of delight.
I laughed deep, low, with sweetness of delight,
we didn’t sleep at all, and glared at dawn;
and though we saw the coming of the light
we didn’t want love’s night to be all gone
so we ignored the stirring of the place
and while I sat atop my thrilling steed
the door swung open, and an old man’s face
showed shock and horror; horror yes indeed!
For Holy Abbot was not even man!
And more than that, he was a princess, high!
And more than that (he couldn’t understand!)
the princess was in bed! Her royal thighs!
Astonished, he went out the door again.
A man called Jove knew all my secret sin.
A man called Jove knew all my secret sin,
he was a knight who served my father well;
my troth was plighted, but I knew just then
the worth of that- for Jove of course would tell.
But what of journey? And the waiting groom?
It was too late- I loved- it was too late.
Unless of course, they sent my love to tomb;
my father’s anger might not hesitate.
The man I loved was high born and well made,
his name was Samuel; pleasant was his wit;
a rugged swordsman, skilled with many blades-
yes, surely surely, they’d see he was fit.
I pulled him near, and held him very tight;
the past’s black chains seemed paper in the light.
The past’s black chains seemed paper in the light;
a wedding now seemed black and full of fear
unless to he I bound with in the night;
yes, bound with well and truly, charming dear!
And still we moved through hills and moors and streams,
onward, onward, to reach my father’s halls;
but half the time I was immersed in dreams
of Samuel’s whispers and his passion calls.
I gave up costume, and let Samuel ride
in royal carriage, cuddled up to me,
but sometimes we would walk at carriage side
along stone paths, beneath the spreading trees.
I was so glad, so glad, he was my own;
I danced; my pretty steps rang out on stone.
I danced; my pretty steps rang out on stone;
he laughed and kissed, because my eyes were bright,
the knights were angry when we were alone
and kept us from each other in the night.
Yes, no one knew how Father might respond
and if this other marriage must be had,
the less that I was left to cling and bond
the less that I would think the marriage bad.
But all shook heads; no virgin now was I!
No holy prize! No lamb to shear with pride!
If diplomatic favors I would buy
far fewer now would buy this unchaste bride.
My father might have much to say to me!
The wind picked up and roared most dismally.
The wind picked up and roared most dismally,
we stayed the night with Duke in castle keep;
I tossed and turned, a restless, churning sea;
within the mighty bed I couldn’t sleep.
I called my maid and made her rub my back,
but still I sighed, and listened to the wind,
and to the castle’s groan and heave and crack;
the old rooms talked and felt like gentle friend.
At last I sent Suzanne back to her bed
and leaned my face against the window glass,
so wishing, wishing, wishing I was wed
and all the worry was already past.
While sitting in the window all alone,
I felt sweet love roar up in every bone.
I felt sweet love roar up in every bone,
and I got up, and pulled on velvet cloak,
and went right then to seek what was my own,
I found his room, himself, his kiss, his stroke…
Once more the night was spent as nights should be
and we were laughing in the candlelight.
I said, “You know you’re risking death for me…
Are you afraid it might not turn out right?”
He said, “My time with you is worth the rest;
if I should die, I die a man well loved,
and loved by you, I’d die a man well blessed;
I’ve had the joys they say they have above.”
He said, “Come stand and turn, and let me see.”
I spun, while joy was throbbing up in me.
I spun, while joy was throbbing up in me,
and he delighted in my flesh and reached
to graze the hips then turning, turning free
before he seized, and huskily, beseeched.
I gave him what he wished and loving, craved,
and softly kissed his chest, and neck and cheeks;
I paused to pray to God he would be saved-
that we would have the favor honor seeks.
I went back to my rooms through quiet halls
the guards, asleep, then never moved or stirred.
With dawn, I feared my father’s love was small
though in the past he’d praised my every word.
But then he might roar “Death!” while Samuel fell…
I knew my secret I would have to tell.
I knew my secret I would have to tell;
and we were almost there! Oh what a thing!
And yet what if instead, I had done “well”
and never told my love or traded rings,
and married other man while loving him?
Yes, surely that is sinning just as much
as telling truth. Perhaps it is more prim
to wait for priest before the wedded touch,
but if I had, no chance would then remain;
my only chance of love was love embraced.
But we were there! Would darling man be slain?
I entered court and saw my father’s face!
I trembled with a fear I couldn’t quell!
I spoke the truth, and then I fell! I fell!
I spoke the truth, and then I fell! I fell!
The bridegroom waited there, and royal priest.
My father rose and looked at Samuel well.
A perfect silence reigned- all movement ceased.
My father called my name and made me stand;
he said, “So this man pleases you, my dear?”
I said, “My heart so loves his fine command
I couldn’t bear a life without him near.”
My father said, “We’ve sought a tie for years
with Samuel’s house. The wedding is tonight.
You’ve done a thing that bribes and war and tears
could never bring to terms or friendly light.
My daughter, you have done a royal thing
with little hands, and sweetly traded rings.
I stood upon the ancient parapet,
my gown was caught by wind and blown about,
I gave great thought to where each foot was set,
I wore my beaded shoes along my route.
The sun was bright and warmed my chilly skin;
I laughed deep, low, with sweetness of delight.
a man called Jove knew all my secret sin,
the past’s black chains seemed paper in the light.
I danced; my pretty steps rang out on stone,
the wind picked up and roared most dismally;
I felt sweet love roar up in every bone,
I spun, while joy was throbbing up in me;
I knew my secret I would have to tell;
I spoke the truth, and then I fell! I fell!
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