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youth combatAt Her Majesty’s whim, a Youth Rose Tournament was held before Crown Tournament this past weekend. For those unfamiliar with youth combat, it is run much in the style of adult combat. Each fighter was sponsored by a Lady of the Rose, or a few Ladies of the Rose. The tourney was run as a bear pit. When a fighter won a bout he brought his Rose or Roses a rose, and returned to the list to fight the next combatant. The honor and chivalry of the young fighters was so inspiring that it caused Baroness Aneleda to set words to paper in commemoration.

An Account of the Youth Combat Tournament at Crown Tourney, on the Feast Day of All Souls in Carolingia, as seen by Baroness Aneleda Falconbridge.

Youth Tourney at Fall Crown 2013, photo by Eleanor le Brun

Photo by Eleanor le Brun

A hedge of Roses graced the field,
each in graceful temper stood.

Brave boys bowed
in salutes so somber
as fit those fighting
for fair Eastern flowers.

Two shared the name Benjamin
One of Serpentius,
One of the Fox.
Two were sons of Ethelred -
Zachary and Constantine.
Gavin son of Asgir was the fifth.
Joined were they by a lad at arms,
Steven was his given name.

When the call came
to advance
Silently each sized the other.
Danced and dodged in
dappled shadows.
With chivalry
were blows given,
with greatest honor
were they taken.

Wide were their lunges
swiftly swerving
like swallows in spring
crossing the grass
as though ’t were sky.

Youth Tourney at Fall Crown 2013, photo by Eleanor le Brun

Photo by Eleanor le Brun

These clever war-lads
met with so nobly.
Each youngling worked
with will for chosen Roses.

Deaths dramatic
won the crowd,
who clapped and cheered
for the cheerful defeated
as much as for the
standing solider.

Valiant combatants
small in stature,
huge of heart,
won all witnesses.

Fairest blossoms
met their fighters,
gave them tokens
for their efforts.

Yet the best thing
given was to us.

Youth Tourney at Fall Crown 2013, photo by Eleanor le Brun

Photo by Eleanor le Brun

I was there,
saw their combat
drenched in sunlight
in the morning.

Know now all who hear:
The realm is honored
by these young.
We are judged
by their manner.
And they have
burnished
us with gold.

It is through their deeds
we shine.

- Baroness Aneleda Falconbridge