The Chalice and the Vine

The Chalice and the Vine is an epic tale about two star-crossed heroes separated by distance, language, and culture. The young protagonists are inexplicitly drawn towards one another until, when what seems like man’s darkest hour, they are brought together for the first time, fulfilling a prophecy born upon legend.

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2. The Chalice, The Vine, The Stand

The Chalice

Passed down through the ages

Its history now lost to the past

The Chalice given to the Sisters to guard

For as long as their Line should last

Their Order that of warriors

Their covenant known to all

Oaths made for honor’s sake

That never would they fall

For legend foretold of an evil

The darkest of all men’s fears

That one-day would rule the earth

And rivers would be born of tears

The Sisters knew not with certainty

What part that it would play

Only safe the Chalice must be kept

For there would come a day

When virgin child from West wind’s source

Would rise to play her part

Golden haired, fair of face

But with mighty warrior’s heart

The vessel raised in her young hands

Would ebb tide’s evil flow

When joined from the East by the one she loved

Armed with spear and bow

The cup itself while unadorned

Never ceased to shine

It was spared all things’ fate

The ravages of time

But as days passed into months

And months into years

Time faded into centuries

Until the age's end drew near

The Sisters died and where soon to dust

And the walls begin to crumble

One by one they did depart

And in their stewardship stumble

The Castle Keep in ruins

The Sisters in their graves

Un-guarded the cup stood alone

And into legend did fade

Until in the grass among the rubble

Where sheep were known to roam

A shepherd girl with flaxen hair

Sat huddled all alone

The sheep began to wander

To slowly walk and graze

When sunset’s last sparkling

Cast down one last yellow ray

With the shadows growing longer

And the evening turning cold

Lying there in the grass

She saw the briefest flash of gold

Picking up the Chalice

She brushed away the soil

But had little time for closer look

As she went about her toil

The sheep still needed tending

The flock could not be lost

She placed the cup in her shepherd's bag

As the dew turned into frost

 

The Vine

Wind, sand and caravan tents

Camel’s high-pitched bellows

Skins lay upon the ground

As the camp begins to settle

Oil lamps flickered as old men lounged

Waiting for their meal

Dipping bread in the communal bowl

A new lamb freshly killed

Twenty horses offered

A princely sum for sure

But a bargain nevertheless

For one so young and pure

”She’s my only daughter

I’m loathed to let her go”

The Chieftain waved the price away

And arose as if to go

“Please wait my lord,”

his host did plead

“You know I am not through

Take your seat and have some wine

And let’s begin anew”

That evening as the wind blew

The young girl’s fate was sealed

The two men stood and embraced

To consummate the deal

The maiden of young womanhood

Asleep in her mother’s tent

Knew not of her future sold

The price paid and all but spent

She dreamed of ships and battles fought

She dreamed of snow-capped peaks

She dreamed of armies victorious

And those routed in defeat

She dreamed of searching for a vine

Its fruit a purple hue

It grew up high on mountain’s crown

Shrouded from all view

These things unknown in waking life

She had never seen

But clear as day she saw them now

Deep within her dreams

This desert child with locks of black

And skin of olive gold

Did dream tonight Fate’s first glimpse

Of the One that legend told

Of a little shepherd girl

With hair like morning sun

Of stony paths and frosty breath

And a new life just begun

 

The Stand

Alone she stood at the burning gates

To face the rebel horde

Her dark eyes danced in the glowing light

As she leaned upon her sword

Through the smoke and through the flames

The gates begin to give

Grinding and rending the hinges fell

Not long now would she live

With gray hair blowing in the wind

She stood barefoot and simply gowned

Champions charged and there they died

As she boldly stood her ground

Thrusting stroke, sidestep parry

Her skills once finely honed

Had faded little in long years march

Towards grave beneath cold stone

Sister of the Dragon’s Keep

Last of her great kind

Would Old Code die with her tonight

And fade away with time

Vanquished foes at her feet

As her strength begins to fade

Would anyone ever sing a song

About the valiant stand she made

Seventy-eight the night she died

When her light was finally veiled

She may have fallen in defeat

But never did she fail

For through the dungeon and over the wall

We managed to slip away

I, her great-granddaughter in my nurse’s arms

Would live to fight another day

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