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The Kia ora coo-ee : the magazine for the ANZACS in the Middle East, 1918

"The Age Of Chivalry"

"The Age Of Chivalry".

The poet mopped his heated brow, and waved an inky hand.
"I long," he said, "to leave the town and wander through the land.
I'm tired of crowded city streets, I would I were a brave
And hardy old adventurer; the open road I crave.

"I would I lived in other times when chivalry held sway;
That I did lead a troop of horse, with fluttering pennons gay;
From North to South, from East to West, no limitations know.
I would I lived in other days, the days of long ago.

"But sad am I, the days, my friend, of chivalry are dead;
And I am forced to write my verse to earn my daily bread.
I write my sonnets by the foot, my odes must be in yards,.
For I've a poetess to keep, and seven little bards'."

I grasped his hand and said "Don't let your troubles get you down".
He said I was a friend indeed, and borrowed half-a-crown.
I left him in the dusty street, and oft my thoughts have turned
Unto this scribe, this peaceful scribe, who for romance had yearned.

Upon the sands of Sinai I met again the bard
Who wrote his sonnets by the foot, whose odes were by the yard.
I paused and passed the time of day, asked was his mind at rest
Now he had travelled North and South, had travelled East and West.

I asked him did he find romance was "born again"; he sighed,
"I've never found romance at all, though everything I've tried.
It's hard to think of chivalry, the different jobs I've had.
I long now for the city streets, in town I'd ne'er be sad.

"I've been a cook, an army cook, I've been mess-ord'ly too;
It's hard to find romantic things when juggling army stew.
I seek no more the open road, no more 1 wish to trail
The roads throughout the Orient, give me the iron rail.

"I long no more for chivalry, it has been too long dead;
I'd rather be in Sydney town, and write to get my bread.
I'm tired of living in this land where lived the chosen tribes;
I'd rather have my poetess and seven little scribes."