Border of roses and rose leaves.

The Siege of Silver Moon

Lyrics & Music: Maureen S. O'Brien
Insp: _The Warrior's Apprentice_, Lois McMaster Bujold "He began to hum a little, a snatch of some half-remembered childhood ballad; 'The Siege of Silver Moon'. It had a Vor lord in it, he recalled, and a beautiful witch-woman who rode in a magic flying mortar; they had pounded their enemies' bones in it, at the end...
'If thou wilt swear thyself to me,
thy liege lord true to thee I'll be....'"

The night was still. Banked coals burned down.
Lord Padma slept, and he slept sound.
"How can you sleep so sound, so soon?
Besieged, beset is Silver Moon!"

"Who told you this, fair zhenshchina?"
"The dogs that bark, the crows that caw.
The yar and sky warn, late and soon,
Besieged, beset is Silver Moon."

"My castle won by enemies?
I will not ever let it be!
The moon is full, the moon is bright.
I ride to Silver Moon tonight!"

"Why ride, why ride?" the fair witch calls.
You can't ride home before it falls."
"The moon is full, the moon is bright.
I ride to Silver Moon tonight."

"'If thou wilt swear thyself to me,
Thy liege-lord true I swear to be.'"
"That oath I spoke, that oath I keep,
In life and in my final sleep."

"Then come -- like fast mares ten times ten,
My mortar flies you home again.
The moon is full, the moon is bright.
We ride to Silver Moon tonight!"

Quick as the gale, quiet as breath
The mortar brings both life and death:
Life to the folk of Silver Moon
And death to those who'd bring it ruin.

The moon was full, the moon was bright.
Below the walls shone weapons bright.
Within the walls the armsmen stern
Were sure Lord Padma'd not return.

"We are outnumbered, that is plain.
Tonight they'll blow our walls in twain.
But we will fight; our oaths we'll keep,
And sweet will be our final sleep."

The night was still; there came no news.
The sappers carefully laid each fuze.
There came a wind, a bright sword gleamed,
And then was heard men's dying screams.

The mortar chased them, ten times ten.
And those who fell rose not again.
And but one man who would not flee --
And that was Padma's enemy.

And he said, "Kill me as you must,
But spare my armsmen, if you're just.
For they have done but what I willed,
And every one is loyal and skilled."

Lord Padma said, "Your words are brave.
Your life and theirs they well could save.
If thou wilt swear thyself to me,
Thy liege-lord true I swear to be."

The moon was full, the moon was bright.
Their hands were bloody from the fight.
It pained his foe more than his wounds
To swear himself to Silver Moon.

Then Padma put in the mortar bowl
All the dead foemen it could hold
And witch and lord, pestle in hand,
Ground all their foemen's bones to sand.

Said lord to witch, "Name your reward:
Whatever my lands may afford,
From all my herds to my own sword."
The witch she said, "I'll take its lord.

"If marriage oath you'll swear to me,
Your lady true I'll swear to be.
This oath I'll swear, this oath I'll keep,
From now until my final sleep."

So lord and witch ruled long and well
In peace and riches, truth to tell.
Padma died old; that very day
His lady witch, she flew away.

But when storms make skies full of gloom,
We hear her pestle's thump and boom.
So all you foes who'd bring us doom,
Beware the Witch of Silver Moon!

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