Tales of Young Irk:
a cautionary story
Castle of Black-eyed Geel
Castle of Black-eyed Geel
 

Then the teacher taught to them
about an ancient age ago

when mean men mounted mighty mares
and weighty women wore woven wares,
when stupid sons savagely sallied
and dainty daughters dutifully dallied.

In those days of mice and men
from amidst the numbered crowd
arose a man so brave and brazen
that soon his fame was called aloud.

Maidens cried for his approach,
Beggars wailed at his reproach,
Poets sang of his mighty deeds,
Wizards waved their magic reeds.

The day dawned soon in young Irk's life
when manhood called him to his due,
to sally forth and take a wife
who would forever to him be true.

The maiden fair, young Ansel say
lay beneath another's sway.
Had come the day of brave Irk's quest
to win her hand and prove his beast.

To slay the oppressors of that young lass
called him from his sleepy youth,
with sword in hand and armour strong
his men-in-arms he gathered round.

The sun was bright, the clouds were few;
on that fine day her hair was blue.
From afar the knights had come,
they knew the chore would not be fun.

Brave Alonzo, tall and dark
came from Rome with steel in hand;
Many a foe had felt his mark
and buried lay beneath the sand.

Mighty Thor, the thunder roared,
did ride upon a steed so large,
had slain the gruesome beasty boar
and won the hand of lovely Marge.

Françoise the fair did also come
with veil in hand and cheeks of rose.
He brought along a keg of rum
to give the men a sweet repose.

Ivan great had heard the call
and dreaming of the nightly games
had bidden for the quick recall
of knights to wager knightly stakes.

And so these men had journeyed far
to help brave Irk in his just cause.
The battle day was soon to come,
the night afore in pleasure done.

While Irk awoke and strode a bit
his trusted knights awaited him
with swords honed thin and razor sharp
they listened to the battle harp.

Away beyond the mountains grand
in wilderness as yet untamed,
fair young Ansel crossed her hands
and dreamed of a life as yet unclaimed.

The evil beast surrounded her
and forced from her, her honor pure.
Fair young Ansel, her heart distraught
pondered yet an evil thought.

Her golden hair now turned blue,
mocked her eyes in mirrored hues.
Her wretched father watched afar,
clasped in irons firm and hard.

The castle Eirne was built so strong
perched atop a rocky mound
that few had dared its heights ascend
and none were spared its walls descend.

From atop a tower high
Black-eyed Geel surveyed his lot.
In the dark of every night,
he himself prepared his pot.

The blood of damsels Georg had drawn
and brought to Geel at every dawn.
For hors d’oeuvres were saved their breasts
required for their grand repasts.

George the tall was ever loyal
to serve the needs of black-eyed Geel.
He alone controlled the gates
through which the fair came to their fate.

Their names resounded through the land,
maidens hid and fathers trembled.
None did dare to test the host,
those that did became the dinner roast.

Though young Irk knew all of this,
his age demanded a true man’s test.
With consorts strong and heart aflame
he rode upon his flowing mane.

A day’s hard journey was soon spent,
a jumping flame did light the night,
the fog was chill, the moon did glow,
when young Irk did pause a bit.

I know my lady fair and true
and suffered through a grievous fate.
The days are drawn like chalk on slate,
but I have come to rescue her.

With some courage in my heart
and the knights surrounding me,
We will breach that castle’s walls
and slay mad Geel and Georg the tall.

The crickets chirped, the owls did hoot,
the fire died and flickered soot.
A zephyr swayed the oak’s green leaves,
the raven crowed, a dove did grieve.

In hushéd tones the knights did counsel
and planned their charge for the morrow.
Brave Alonzo elected first
to lead the rush on castle Eirne.

The morning dawned, the sun rose red;
no clouds did dare the sky to hid.
The fire lit, the porridge drunk,
the knights did kneel and pray aloft.

Their steeds were sheathed in iron round,
their swords were honed; a song was sung.
A tote of rum was passed around,
courage drunk and passed along.

And in the castle, black-eyed Geel
arose to greet the day.
The air, he felt, the smell of war
and bade tall Georg prepare the fray.

Oh, my friend, my bones do sense
a battle day, our hands to arms.
Loyal Georg did fetch his mail
to gird upon his body stout.

Fair young Ansel sleeping sound,
her dreams tormented by her fate.
Her father watched in chains abound
and cursed his fate to watch around.

A mist did lift by noontime round
as Irk approached the castle Eirne.
The party paused to rest a bit
and gaze upon that stony ground.

Again they talked among themselves,
embraced at last and bid farewell.
Irk was brave and said aloud,
Courage bid us well today.

Brave Alonzo before them all
beckoned them to raise their arms.
Since I am chosen first to fall,
Follow me and slay them all.

And so Alonzo ran ahead
his faithful page not far behind.
The other knights did watch them both
and nodded slowly at his rush.

The rocks were steep, the hill was tall,
for once he seemed to stumble small,
but then again his arm upraised,
he rose up and charged the wall.

From the pulpits high above,
black-eyed Geel stare amazed.
as such boldness his heart did ache
for his fate, his eyes did twinkle.

Far below, about the gate,
loyal Georg prepared his mace.
He alone knew what to do
when that knight the walls did reach.

And the moment soon did come
when a knight does meet his call,
with arms and heart a-sheathed in steel,
he rose forth to battle Geel.

Thus Alonzo reached his quest,
the gate descended upon his chest.
He lay pinned upon the ground,
the prongs implanted in his breast.

But woe begone the sorry foe
who thinks he’s conquered brave Alonzo.
For as loyal Georg approached the slain,
brave Alonzo his head did rear.

With a heart so proud and true
the blood a'pouring from his open wounds,
Alonzo raised his shattered arm
and lashed it out to strike his foe.

At that moment Georg did sound
a mighty scream and wail aloud
For the blow of brave Alonzo
had found its mark upon his thigh.

Like a scythe, the blade cut sharp,
Georg’s leg was harvested.
Writhing on the blooded ground,
he tried to stem the endless stream.

I will finish what I’ve done,
and with his strength he rose again
to swing his axe upon the brave,
his arm arose and then found its knave.

On that fair morn so long ago.
Brave Alonzo did meet his match.
His headless body pinned below,
Loyal Georg’s gate unlatched.

Down below that granite mound,
the other rose to sally forth
and finish off the task begun.
The noise of battle quickly grew.

Amidst the din the battle roared,
Françoise the faire was next to go.
His veil in hand, his lance abreast;
his proud head rose above th rest.

His lance did break on Geel’s broad chest;
he stood there helpless, then screamed aloud.
And with his dagger pointed out,
rushed to strike old Geel’s breast.

But black-eyed Geel was braver still,
with sword in hand, he stood his ground.
A mighty swath did he cut,
and poor Françoise, did slice him down.

The other knights, their fright did take,
their weariness had ground them down.
Great Ivan and mighty Thor
staggered down that crimson slope.

Young, brave Irk alone did stand
before his foe, that black-eyed Geel.
He dropped his sword and nodded slight,
paused a bit, then resumed the fight.

The two did battle back and forth,
one’s brave blow was knocked away.
The sun fell low, the air grew cool,
and still they battled in that fray.

Far below in dungeon’s deep,
lay young Ansel, fair, aweep.
Imprisoned in her room so bare,
she writhed within that dreaded snare.

Within her fist she grasped a dagger
saved by her for such a fate.
Its point she held upon her breast
and prayed to god her soul to rest.

As she lay beneath that mound,
brave, young Irk was losing ground.
His arms were heavy, legs of lead,
the many wounds from which he bled.

Came the moment all men seek
when they test their heart’s true bent.
The sun had set, the cock had crowed,
moon arise all aglow.

Ansel lay stricken in her chaise,
Smiling now, she slept in peace.
Irk the fair, the brave, the true,
swung his blow at black-eyed Geel.

Geel himself away did step
and met the blow of brave, young Irk.
His sword lay shattered at his feet.
Irk did raise a mighty growl.

Geel right then did pause a bit,
and gazing at his youthful foe,
bowed his eyes and raised his fist,
then swung around his carbon’d sword.

Irk lay stricken where he fell
high atop that bloody knell,
the fortress Eirne, its walls unbreached
lived to rule that evil hell.

And so the days did come and go
when brave, young men did sally fo,
to save fair damsels in distress
and scribe their names in eternal rest.

Black-eyed Geel triumphed again,
the land he laid to ruin waste.
The maidens soon were brought to him
so that he, their blood could taste.

Brave, young Irk did sally forth,
as all brave knights do in their youth.
Now he lays in grave up north
way beyond the gulf of forth.

But his name is still remembered
by the priests and poets wise.
Black-eyed Geel was soon dismembered,
good had triumphed and always will.


 
 

This page is copyright © 2005, C.T. Evans
For information contact cevans@nvcc.edu