Recently written for a medieval wedding held in France
The Mysterious Minstrel of Nice
Our tale begins with a sweet crème brulee,
served at the Duke of Nice’s birthday.
For the Duke did adore feasts and great celebrations,
he oft hosted gatherings of friends and relations.
Betrothed to the Duke, Lady Bridle of Nice,
tapped her spoon on the table for talking to cease.
She announced, “Let the troubadours take to the floor!”
The party of guests gave a thunderous roar.
Lady Bridle of Nice rolled her eyes in despair,
for she’d spent many hours seated on this same chair.
First to the floor came a sprightly young chap,
dressed in bright purple with feather in cap.
Lady Bridle tried not to appear very bored,
‘twas a welcome surprise when he swallowed a sword.
Then on came a fellow who played on a lute,
and impressed with some tumbles, then juggled with fruit.
Next, came a minstrel, fair-haired, dark of eye,
who spoke not a word, he was handsome but shy.
He held a strange drum upon which he beat,
Soon, the Great Hall resounded with tapping of feet.
The rhythm did alter, the beat gathered pace,
Lady Bridle appeared very pink in the face,
For the young dark-eyed minstrel beside her did stand,
she offered her freshly French-manicured hand.
“Would you do me the honour, my good Lady Bridle?”
Our heroine blushed, but towards him did sidle.
As they walked to the floor, he moved closer to hold her,
it seemed his dark eyes with desire did smoulder.
Our heroine whispered, “From whence do you come?”
I have never seen such an unusual drum!”
“My lady, though French, I’m of strong Scottish stock,
this drum I play comes from the land of the loch.
One day I will wed in my family kilt,
return to the croft which my grandfather built.
My children will run free and breathe country air,
but first I must find me a wife, rich and fair.
The world of the Great Hall seemed suddenly hollow,
Lady Bridle knew then ‘twas her heart she must follow.
Of castle and court she had had quite enough,
No more of the smooth, it was time for the rough!
“Sir take me to Scotland, and I’ll be your wife,
For I crave mountain air and a simpler life,
I will dress as a servant, escape in the night,
we’ll elope on my horse then by boat we’ll take flight.”
Our young handsome minstrel could hardly refuse,
he had plenty to gain and nothing to lose!
Together they rode, braving seas in wild weather,
‘til they came to the land of mountain and heather.
They lived by a loch, eating freshly caught fish,
and despite thinking haggis an unusual dish;
Lady Bridle missed little of France, but the wine,
though as a replacement, the whisky was fine.
And so ends our tale of a Scottish romance,
but though it may seem we’ve departed from France,
On days when the mountains seem misty and grey,
our lovers enjoy eating sweet crème brulee.