Thursday, December 18, 2008

Musketeer Sonnets

Just thought I'd put them all together, and in order.

The Three Musketeers

A country boy has come to town to join
the Musketeers and make himself a name,
perhaps a fortune, in what better coin
than love on one hand, on the other fame?
He'll find them both, and greater treasures yet:
three friends endowed with cunning, strength and heart.
His Eminence, who'd like to own the set
for once admits the failure of his art--
he can't obtain their loyalty for gold
or any other price he has to pay.
The Musketeers go on their merry way
while round them, lethal politics unfold.
Milady's plot will kill the gallant Duke...
six hundred pages later in this book.

Twenty Years After

In merry England, civil war's afoot
and barricades on Paris boulevards
are lined with citizens, both resolute
and brave. Rebellion's in the cards.
It's on this stage of civil insurrection
that our four heroes choose to reappear--
a night escape, pursuit and misdirection,
the flash of swords! D'Artagnan's career,
the peace of Athos, Porthos' country life,
and Aramis' ambitions separate
these hearts that once were one. A kindly Fate
decrees these four should gather. One last quest
reveals in former comrades all the best
of a man's features, brought to light by strife.

The Vicomte de Bragelonne

The Musketeers, those gentlemen whose fame
had spread so far, at ten and thirty years'
remove, are moving in another game.
Their goal this time: to dry an exile's tears
with hopes of royal restoration. Pieces
shuffle on the great chessboard of France:
the general Monk, a young Infanta, nieces
of the cardinal, men of finance.
They leave behind, for most of this adventure
a youth whose manly state is on the rise,
who wisely steers his friends away from censure
but leaves his own heart risking compromise.
Not yet a player in the game of thrones,
the young Vicomte, heir of the Bragelonnes.

Louise de la Valliere

An innocent adrift among intrigues
of love and politics, too easily led
by friends more worldly but no wiser. Leagues
beyond her station, Louis turned her head.
He was the Sun King; Louise was a candle
his to kindle, his to choose to quench.
Unfriendly tongues made love into a scandal
entertaining to the jaded French.
The youthful king had very little care
for consequences that weren't his to bear
or gossip of the gilded court, most cruel
to Queen and poor Louise, La Valliere
alike. Philanderer royale, beware!
Though young, you've no excuse to play the fool.

The Man in the Iron Mask

What could it signify, this undeclared
imprisonment, this burial alive
behind the Bastille's walls? What secrets strive
for freedom, while the prisoner despaired?
Aramis knows the secret of the Mask,
another thread to warp into his schemes.
Who'd think this hard conspirator still dreams
of glory days! To bring them back's the task
he self-imposes. But this plot will cost
the life of Porthos, confidante and friend
and Aramis, escaping in the end
reflects most bitterly on all he's lost.
Unwisest, in a list of unwise things
to meddle in the secret lives of kings.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

1 comment:

Meander Knot Press said...

Andrew read these last night and said thanks for the link, and lovely technique.