THE SWORDLADY, OR: “THAT SONG”
Swordlady, valiant, no matter the foe,
Into the battle you fearlessly goâ
Boldly you ride out beyond map and chartâ
Why are you frightened to open your heart?
Swordlady, lady of consummate skill,
Lady of prowess, of strength and of will,
Swordlady, lady of cold ice and steel,
Why will you never admit that you feel?
Swordlady, mistress of all arts of war,
Wise in the ways of all strategic lore,
You fear no creature below or above,
Why do you shrink from the soft touch of love?
Swordlady, brave to endure wounds and pain,
Plunging through lightning, through thunder and
Flinching from nothing, so high is your pride,
Why then pretend you hold nothing inside?
Swordlady, somewhere within you is hid
A creature of feeling that no vow can rid,
A womanâa girl, with a heart soft and warm,
No matter the brutal deeds that you perform.
Swordlady, somewhere inside of you deep,
Cowers the maiden that you think asleep,
Frozen within you, in ice shrouded womb
That you can only pretend is a tomb.
Swordlady, all of the vows you have made
Can never make your heart die as you've bade.
Swordlady, after the winter comes spring;
One day your heart will awaken and sing.
Swordlady, one day there must come a manSHINâA'IN WARSONG
Who shall lift from you this self-imposed ban,
Thawing the ice that's enshrouded your soul,
On that day swordlady, you shall be whole.
(The old tradition holds that the Shinâa'inânow forty-odd Clans in allâoriginally came from four: the Taleâsedrin (Children of the Hawk), the Liha'- irden (Deer-sibs), the Vuysherâedras (Brothers of the Wolves), and the Pretera'sedrin (the Children of the Grasscats). Hence the monumental seriousness of the threat of declaring Taleâsedrin a dead Clan in
SHINâA'IN SONG OF THE SEASONS
Gold the dawn-sun spreads his wingsâ
Follow where the East-wind sings,
Brothers, sisters, side by side,
To defend our home we ride!
Eyes of Hawks the borders seeâ
Watchers, guard it carefully
Let no stranger pass it byâ
Children of the Hawk, now fly!
CH: Maiden, Warrior, Mother, Crone,
Help us keep this land our own.
Rover, Guardian, Hunter, Guide,
With us now forever ride.
Speed of deer, oh grant to theseâ
Swift to warn of enemies,
Fleeter far than any foeâ
Deer-child, to the border go!
Cunning as the Wolf-pack now,
To no overlord we bow!
Lest some lord our freedom blight,
Brothers of the Wolves, we fight!
Brave, the great Cat guards his lair,
Teeth to rend and claws to tear.
Lead the battle, first to last,
Children of the Cat, hold fast!
Hawk and Cat, and Wolf and Deer,
Keep the plains now safe from fear,
Brothers, sisters, side by side,
To defend our home, we ride!
(Although Tarma seldom mentioned the fact, her people have a four-aspected male deity to compliment the female. This song gives Him equal time with Her.)
The East wind is calling, so come ride away,
Come follow the Rover into the new day,
Come follow the Maiden, the Dark Moon, with
The new year's beginning, come ride out and see.
Come follow the Rover out onto the plains,
Come greet the new life under sweet, singing
Come follow the Maiden beneath vernal showers,
For where her feet passed you will find fra
The South wind, oh hear it, we ride to the call
We follow the Guardian, the Lord of us all,
We follow the Warrior, the strong to defend,
The New Moon to fighters is ever a friend.
With summer comes fighting, with summer, our
And how we must thwart them the Guardian
The Warrior will give them no path but retreat,
The Warrior and Guardian will bring their defeat.
Come follow the West wind, the wind of the
The Mother will cast her cloak over us all.
Come follow the Hunter out onto the plain,
Return to the Clan with the prey we have slain.
For now comes the autumn, the time of the
The season of Full Moon, of harvest, then rest.
So take from Her hands all the fruits of the
And thank Him for all that the autumn-hunt
The North wind, the cold wind, the wind of the
Tells us, it is time winter pastures to go.
The Guide knows the path, and the Crone shows
The Old Moon, and time for returning is now.
And if, with the winter, should come the last
And riding, we ride out of life into death,
The Wise One, the Old Moon, will ease our last
The Guide will be waiting to show the new road.
Deep into the stony hills, miles from keep or
A troupe of guards comes riding with a lady and
Riding in the center shrouded in her cloak of fur,
Companioned by a maiden and a toothless, aged
Three things see no end, a flower blighted ere it
A message that was wasted, and a journey that
One among the guardsmen has a shifting, rest-
And as they ride he scans the hills that rise
against the sky.
He wears both sword and bracelet worth more
than he can afford,
And hidden in his baggage is a heavy, secret
Of three things be wary, of a feather on a cat,
The shepherd eating mutton and the guardsman
that is fat.
From ambush, bandits screaming charge the
packtrain and its prize,
And all but four within the train are taken by
And all but four are cut down as a woodsman
fells a log,
The guardsman, and the lady, and the maiden,
and the dog,
Three things know a secretâfirst, the lady in a
The dog that barks no warning and the maid who
does not scream.
Then off the lady pulls her cloak, in armor she
Her sword is out and ready, and her eyes are
fierce and glad.
The maiden gestures briefly and the dog's a cur
A wolf, sword-maid and sorceress now face the
Three things never anger or you will not live for
A wolf with cubs, a man with power and a wom-
an's sense of wrong.
The bandits growl a challenge and the lady only
The sorceress bows mockingly, and then the fight
When it ends there are but four left standing
from that horde
The witch, the wolf, the traitor, and the woman
with the sword!
Three things never trust in, the maiden sworn
The vows a king has given and the ambush that
They strip the traitor naked and they whip him
on his way
Into the barren hillsides like the folks he used
They take a thorough vengeance for the women
he cut down
And then they mount their horses and they jour-
ney back to town.
Three things trust and cherish well, the horse
on which you ride,
The beast that guards and watches and the sis
ter at your side!
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