Here is a passage from a traditional Aristasian epic poem, dating from the days of the Cairen Empire. It is, of course, a Westrenne translation (note that “deer” doesn’t mean “deer” in the usual sense, but any animal, as with the German Tier).

Darken the Sun? O, my Lady, thy jesting words chill me,
For they may hold a truth far more dreadful and dark than you deem.
Three moons agone, with my maidens, I rode in the forest,
In the depth of the forest where maiden hath scarcely set foot;
And the beasts of the wood, as we rode scurried forth from our presence,
Scurried forth like to creatures that feared we should do them some hurt.
And our hearts did wax heavy to feel that these deer did not trust us,
And our will was to question them; learn what had taught them this fear-
Yet no creature would stay near our stead nor abide inquisition,
But each made away at the sound of our furthest approach;
And she that had young that did play in the dappling sunflood
Did call them unto her and hurry them swift from our sight.
Even as she, who on meeting a friend in the courtyard,
Doth offer her greeting, in reverence pressing her palms,
But to see her once-friend, like a sightless maid, gaze ever forward
And draw in her robe as the friend of her childhood comes nigh;
Even thus in the wood were our gentle hearts smitten within us
As our sweet lesser sisters of earth did eschew our approach.
Here was a problem, it seemed, that defied resolution,
For the problem itself forbade asking of those that might tell.
Then, as perplexity troubled our hearts to the deepest,
We came to a place where a beast stood athwart of our path.
Great was the beast, clad in gold, like a Rayin of the forest,
Gold was her hair that fell over her head, like a maid’s,
Full mighty was she, and her voice was like that of the thunder
And wroth did she seem as she raisèd that voice to the sky.
Never before, as I wand’red abroad in the forest,
Never before hath the greatest deer off’red me hurt.
Now as I sate saddled high on my milken-white palfrey,
My mount took a fear, and I own, as a blonde, thus did I.
Yet neither did move, for in both of us flows a blood royal,
And Marenkhe, our dark-hair’d companion, did ride to the fore.


A note from your Editrix: To appreciate the scansion of this traditional Aristasian blank verse, you must understand that each line carries five stresses: so, in the first line quoted here, the first stress falls on the first syllable: “DARKen the SUN”, but in the second line it falls on the third syllable: “For they MAY hold a TRUTH”. Be aware of this stress-pattern and you will quickly pick up the music of the verse. Note also the alternation of blonde and brunette line-endings (in a blonde line-ending the final stress falls on the penultimate syllable, in a brunette line ending it falls on the last syllable).

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