Armand and Katherine

by Zane Blom

A Period Salute to the Twelve Days


Armand:
What guest on yonder branch alights?

Katherine:
’Tis thine, my love. One partridge fair.
May oft his call bring eve delights.
Our watcher ’midst the budding pear.

Armand:
What’s fair is fowl and fowl is fair.

Katherine:
You jest, but hearken nigh, my love
What tempest ruffs the temperate air?
’Tis callers, hens, and turtledoves.

Armand:
Forsooth their flourish, as the storm,
becalms my wintering maladies.

Katherine:
Your hand, my love: ’tis apter borne
engraced in nobler fineries...

Armand:
Dear Kate. Your eyes are gifts in turn;
I hold these sundry ringlets five
as surance of the former’s warmth.
Forever in my heart you live.

Katherine:
The pond, my love. What gathers on
its streaming light, in nestling brood?
Has ever fairer gander, swan
imparted silence, interlude?

Armand:
None has, my Kate. Naught lives that can.

Katherine:
How does His Grace abide his cream?
When drawn not of the sweetest hand
of maiden-suite of meet esteem?

Armand:
Tonight we know their labor’s fruits.

Katherine:
Betimes indeed — and ere we sup
nine ladies dance, ten nobles’ boots
take flight from whence they’ve vaulted up and
pipes and drums untame the sky.

Armand:
What suitor could but herein blush?
The sentient clouds attest on high:
I’ve ne’er been hailed or humbled thus.

Katherine:
Fowl and ring and retinue:
I pray these gifts befit His Grace.

Armand:
I have, of course, a gift for you.
I take your hand, I touch your face.
I kneel, as does your sex befit.
I part silk gloves from silken hands,
and in their cupping contours fit
a ring, if thine heart would, perchance...


Copyright © 2014 by Zane Blom

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