The Ballad Of Groak-Kan

I happened across an epic ballad I wrote in either my Junior or Senior year of Highschool. I had not yet learned to date my handwritten pages. Either way, I was taking a lot of Latin poetry classes at the time and I based this poem on a meter known as Dactylic Hexameter that was quite popular with many Roman poets. Since the Roman’s did not concern themselves with rhyme schemes, I contrived my own. I cannot promise that the lines are completely faithful to the meter, but it is a fun read – even if the young author seems a trifle full of himself 😉

Without further ado, I give you:

The Ballad of Groak-Kan

A hero once roamed these lands seeking,
Groak-Kan was his name and it was glory he sought.
Twas with his keen sword and swift spear he went a questing
And great were the many works which he wrought.

Through dale and dell, where evil things dwell,
He made his way with daring and cheer.
He often cast his eyes about, searching for evil to route,
As he roamed, a cloud of fame above, far and near.
Until his eye did rest on Grierce, and he heard the tower knell.

That stately hall did rise above a daunting mist.
Its bold banners proclaimed the gold which lay within
And many a lord desired its daughter for theirs to be kist.
Twas here in this dwelling grand our hero wintered in.
During the snowy days he caught the eye
Of Grierce’s daughter, which he likened to the sky.

This daughter was called Mayrtra by name,
In this golden hall of mists so thick she dwelt.
By the bards her beauty was granted great acclaim
And twas for this, that Kothyl’s wrath would soon be felt.

For an ancient dragon was Kothyl, a bestial behemoth.
His scales were black as midnight, his flame bright as morning sun,
And, thinking on Grierce’s beauty, his mouth began to froth.
On wings quiet as a bat and eyes joined with the stars as one
He did sweep to Grierce in the night to make felt his wroth.

Down he thundered, sporting flame and smashing tail
The gentle folk did at once scatter, but the guards didn’t fail.
So he landed and wreaked havoc all about
While man and beast, it mattered not, was gulped by his great snout.
The guards bravely fought but his armor held true
And they were forced to flee by the flame he blew.
Then he stole the daughter of the hall
And back to his lair went he, to shelter from all.

Over mountains high and valleys low flew he,
Over meadow lush and desert bare,
Through high clouds went he, a giant bird of the air.
His object, a large dark cave, filled with gems so rare.
So on he flew, and on and on, over land and over sea.

And after followed that hero so bold,
Yes Groak-Kan pursued that trail so cold
By no track but by rumor and report
Did he follow Kothyl to his den.
The battle, he knew, would tax, it was worse than he ken.

Hidden in remote valleys of mountains high
There lay the lair of Kothyl and his princess royal.
Twas to this yawning cavern Groak-Kan journeyed nigh
All about the mouth were blasted bones and soil
And from deep within issued a grumble
As Kothyl sleeping stirred, making stone shake and rumble.

“Come out,” called Groak-Kan. “You churlish dog of Cain.”
The dragon awoke, he heard the summons, and out he came.
Spitting fire furious he charged to overcome the hero brave
Who, weathering that storm, smote Kothyl on the snout, to send him to his grave.

Kothyl roared, in surprise and pain, to feel that keen sword’s sting.
He swiped with vicious strength, but the hero’s spear flashed to his wing.
Kothyl screamed, a sound to split the rocks
And retreated did he to avoid such shocks.

Then did Groak-Kan seize the lady Mayrtra
And they together fled the gruesome dragon’s lair.
Over mountains, through forests dark and wide,
Until they reached Grierce, that great hall so fair.
And Kothyl did rage about and set out in pursuit.

He overtook them as they neared the hall,
Groak-Kan sent the lady on and stood to triumph or fall.
Kothyl bellowed, stripping grass from plain and dell
And the hero flung his spear once more, and Kothyl fell.

The wily dragon did then strike, winding his tail about
The doughty hero, squeezing like a giant snake, but on the hero fought.
And as the day did fail, the dragon did impale with one mighty claw
The hero, so straight and tall.

Groak-Kan did then with his last gasp of breath
Drive his sword once more through air, for dragon’s death.
His sword bit deep and reached the evil brain
Through that starry eye, now torn in pain.

Then all the land did mourn the hero’s death
And for him did raise a great hill as tomb.
To grant the glory for which he called with his dying breath
And he they then entombed, with much gloom.
For no more would the hero roam the misty dells
To vanquish the evil which there dwells.


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