Cristofanus and Cecilia
From Compendum Caidis
Cristofanus and Cecilia
A Sestina For Their Excellencies Cristofanus Castellani and Cecilia Medici, Baron and Baroness of Altavia
- Written by Lord Paul fitz Denis, Seraph Bard
- Performed At Angels/Altavia Yule on the Thirteenth Day of December A.S 49
- Commissioned by Dame Lynnette de Sandoval del Valle de los Unicornios
- Proud coronets they wear, patrons of the arts,
- dressed in green like the trees, in black like the crows.
- Their merest whim could loose flights of keen arrows,
- archers backed by scores of swords, spears, and axes.
- Their foes would be toyed with, as mice are by cats,
- so devoted are all those in their service.
- But what foes have they, these who live by service?
- None. Theirs is a reign of peace and of the arts;
- their people held safe and secure, as like cats
- sleeping warmed by the sun, bothered not by crows.
- Warriors pass their time decorating axes,
- while fletchers make hunting shafts, not war arrows.
- And though at peace, the air is filled with arrows.
- They teach all comers, such is their service,
- instructing in the ways of spears, knives, axes,
- showing to all the archer’s and thrower's arts.
- And watching this scene from the sky are the crows,
- entranced by the sounds, like winged black cats.
- Yet in other times, in the calm, when cats
- stretch lazily across the hearthstones, arrows
- sitting in piles to be repaired, then do crows
- take flight across the canvases, in service
- to the scenes brought to life by his painter’s arts,
- circling, seeking ancient trees safe from axes.
- So in those times too, when quiet are axes,
- come forth those bright baubles so tempting to cats.
- she dips with her needles and works other arts,
- with stitches as straight and true as her arrows,
- beads and jewels pressed as well into service,
- that which she fashions so intriguing to crows.
- How full are their days, from before the cock crows
- 'til long after sun has set; for as axes'
- blades are first into the wood, they in service
- to their people are first to be there. Though cats
- long for naps, to dream of pineapples, arrows
- they are, propelled through the sky by all their arts.
- Cristoph with his crows, Cecilia with her cats:
- on one string, two arrows shine like keen axes,
- devoting their lives to service and the arts.