Romance Poetry posted March 31, 2016

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Crown of Heroic Sonnets

Jus Primae Noctis

by michaelcahill

Jus Primae Noctis
                                           by michael cahill

I breathe each breath as though it is my last,
no quarter set aside for what might be.
What’s done sleeps soundly anchored in my past.
Aboard this vessel I set out to sea,
all sails unfurled tight fastened to the mast.
Midst misty spray all ties that bind me flee;
though my heart aches--to love I still am cast.
I make this journey yearning to be free.
Her name remains within. I’ll never speak
aloud the sweetest sound these ears have heard.
For if I hear it whispered--I’ll grow weak;
this will that drives me forth will be demurred.
Due south, they say, are wonders grand to seek,
but treacherous the costs might be incurred.
Beware grey ghosts that prey upon the meek.
It’s they who’ve set the traps, and you interred.
Still, I am not deterred a bit because,
I must forget what's done and deal with loss.

I must forget what's done and deal with loss;
now, waves well up as if they hear me wail.
Rogue demons scowl … threats drooling from fat jaws,
yet clearly my name rises through the gale,
they mock me as they cut me with their claws.
I’m clearly wounded, bleeding as I flail;
the deck is unforgiving, there’s no pause--
the truth invades my soul and grief impales.
My Lord, it is the ghost of he I’ve killed--
that bastard with his title and his scroll.
He rode from castle high I helped to build
proclaiming that my bride would be his toll,
as written set to law in golden guild.
He smirked my way as though he thought it droll.
I swiftly slashed his throat, my rage fulfilled.
Her honor saved, my fate for life now told.
How could I let him foul my precious love?
Yet, now, I’m left to curse the skies above.

Yet, now I’m left to curse the skies above;
confronting disembodied drooling ghouls.
Was not the loss of all held dear enough;
must I be forced to suffer endless fools--
when it is I who’ve suffered torment's glove?
My tears make oceans small like looking pools.
When will my torment cease? Despair's cold blood!
Though slain, it seems this cursed prince still rules.
Still farther South, my angst propels my quest;
there must be destinations yet to find.
I harken, mercy, hear my sad behest,
for pardon from a world bent so unkind.
Now, beasts on wing confront me-a new test.
Has guilt now conjured these from my sick mind,
or does my Lord now toy with me in jest?
My prelude to the dues from hell that bind …

But how could righteous vengeance not hold sway?
No doubt rests in my soul that I must pay.


No doubt rests in my soul that I must pay.
My heart forever cursed for anger flashed.
Yet, still, I'd draw my blade-- and gladly slay.
My bride, sweet innocence; he ... Satan's masque,
sick-swine, awash with stink from foul decay.
Indeed, to snuff his life--a relished task
Forgive me, Lord, it was my wedding day.
But never could I see her in his grasp.
Now, here I sail marooned upon this sea;
no shore to bid me welcome, come to dine.
They said my payment’s death, and so I flee.
His fate was earned, yet I performed the crime.
And what of him who claims such pedigree,
that with a piece of paper deemed sublime,
the flower of the bride who’s pledged to me;
a moment stolen--hated for all time?
Oh yes, I’d rather die than have it so;
to save her from that swine--I had to go.

To save her from that swine--I had to go.
To stay meant certain death … I’d slain a prince.
The son and heir to sit upon a throne;
his a-ged father-king had been there since
his father once before him there had shone.
A vial of poison helped his sire convince
a hastened move to power it was known.
I should be praised for help in stemming sins.
Well, that was then, and this is now, I cry
just for a moment more … I see a light!
Horizons bright, and swiftly my ship glides.
Could answers come that save me from my plight?
The bow is bouncing, spirit too, hope sighs.
I hear a voice as darkness falls--it’s night;
but still it calls, I follow, is it wise?
I dream a foolish dream with all my might!
I know the voice I hear is my sweet dear,
though everyone says, “NO!” it draws me near.

Though everyone says, “NO!” it draws me near.
Could sense have left my mind? Perhaps, it’s so.
My heart now bids me dance, and stand and cheer.
My shipmates don a somber face of woe.
“The reef will splinter every plank we fear,
it’s to the bottom all of us will go.
Turn back, we beg you, to our doom you steer.
This vision’s false, believe us, you can’t know;
it’s grief and loss that calls you, yearnings grab--
and it will be your doom; you must turn back.”
I stop to see their eyes that look so drab;
and hear their words and feel no truth they lack
I know, without a doubt, they mean no slap.
Perhaps, I must adopt a different tact.
“I’ll go alone; I'll leave this ship, be glad!
I know my path, and I shall take my track."
I plunge into the sea, and seek my fate.
My love awaits me at horizon’s gate.


My love awaits me at horizon’s gate.
My stroke is strong; I mustn’t weaken now.
I feel her warmth; I do not dare be late.
I lean upon the love her faith endows,
and on my soul I shall not hesitate.
“Swim, my love,” she calls, I crease my brow.
My thoughts begin to sing—I cannot wait!
An island looms I shall not disavow.
I’ve proved them wrong; ahead our island gleams.
I push ahead with every ounce of fight,
for truth has won, and purist love redeems.
It won’t be long now till I hold her tight.

The heaven's fill with candle's smiling beams;
and music fills the sky and charms the night!
At last we’ll bond and seal our wedding dreams.
Eternity begins … the world’s set right.

Your arms will cradle me--I’ll find sleep fast;
I breathe each breath as though it is my last.
 photo calmsea332_zpstuhr4tyy.jpg


Crown of Heroic Sonnets contest entry


Jus Primae Noctis: The right of first night. A law giving the King or nobleman the right to the new bride of a peasant on their wedding night. From medieval times.

I'm anxious to hear any input or tips to improve this. Lots of words, and I'm sure there is much room to improve. :)) Thanks to Dawn of Tomorrow for already saving me a tar and feathering. LOL! Mountainwriter49, Gloria ... and Yeltel also offered key tips that improved this piece greatly.

Only a couple slight variations.
Some metric substitutions such as feminine endings, headless iambs, trochees, spondees and the like here and there, all intentional and should read smoothly and go unnoticed by the reader. The reviewers looking for such things, of course, will make note. :))

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