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Confronting Sir Robert

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Within the oaken door was set a grille,
and Robert, rattling keys, triumphant stood
safely behind six inches thick of wood;
while, in a state of shock, there stood stock still
Trefor. Again quite lost, and knowing not
how to respond, except to loathe himself
for ever playing knight to suit an Elf,
and going on without a plan or plot.
Safe from the Fairy Knight, Sir Robert beams.
“Duty it is, in chivalry, that I
capture a knight who helpless passes by.
Now for a ransom held you are, meseems.
Nay! Speak no word. I like you in this guise;
speaking would only ruin the surprise.

Did you e’er think, that travelling through this land
with my own Fool, your presence went unseen?
All of the day my men have round you been,
and your reception all the day I’d planned.
Arms of Gaheris yours, from Camelot;
all of the Table Round are known to me.
What kind of knight d’you think that I would be
if by their arms I knew my brothers not?
That knight was nowhere near your height or size;
thus an impostor knight you are, of course.
He, to my knowledge, rode a great grey horse,
so you have clearly killed him by some wise.
Well done! Such feats of arms do I applaud -
now, though, I had to know; you served what lord?

If this were not the case, before you came
ever as close as bowshot from the wall,
all my militiamen would come at call;
certain that you would not achieve your aim.
But if you came some other lord to serve,
I would require to find out who would dare
send a lone knight to Robert unaware.
Over the sea, or forest fare; what nerve!
Thus I accepted you within my keep,
only to find the truth about your claim.
I am the one who ruled the jester’s game;
now the rewards of folly you will reap.
Not from King Arthur did you come – such fools
would not abuse his silly little rules.

Now Giles is found! A folk of fearful farms
scurry around this realm like frightened mice.
Arthur refused to help them for their price;
so an impostor bearing other’s arms
all they afforded then, to challenge me.
It has increased my mirth, to see this through!
What was the price they paid to hire you?
Whatever. For a ransom you’ll go free.
Whatever. You are just the same as me,
doing your best to prove your power and right,
winning as well by trickery as might.
Whatever. Till your family pay my fee
for your imprisonment, which cost me dear.
Ah, me. You must be fed. An apple; here!”

With that, Sir Robert, laughing, cast inside
Sir Trefor’s cell the fruit of which he spoke.
The boy would never know if Robert lied;
to him all others’ feelings were a joke.

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