Sestina of the Rapier Challenge - Pennsic XXV

at The Tournament of the Rapier Champions

by Mar Yaakov HaMizrachi

We salute you, assembled crowns.
Gathering from the corners of the Earth,
You do us all immeasurable honor
By gracing our contest with your presence.
We pledge to struggle to prove worthy;
And vow no stain shall darken our bright blades.

Yea, so swear all these brave, bold blades.
(For each owes you a debt, oh mighty crowns,
For declaring each of them most worthy
To represent you on this field of earth
And blood. So each must thank you for his presence
Here by this oath upon his life and honor.)

This we swear: that we shall honor
All the good blows and cuts of our foes’ blades.
That we shall, at all times, treat our presence
On this field as an embassy of our crowns;
Whose trust we value more than all the Earth,
And of whose faith in us we will prove worthy.

We swear to hold each foe worthy
Of our best respect and highest honor.
We call upon the Heavens and the Earth
To bear witness to our words. May our blades
Break and points dull if we defile our crowns
By breaking this oath in their sacred presence.

We ask He whose holy Presence
Makes even meanest men such as we worthy
Of Salvation, King of Kings, Crown of Crowns,
Bind us to this oath of sacred honor.
May He hear us and bring blessings on our blades;
Or, if we prove false, smite us from the Earth.

Our oath done, we kneel upon this earth.
We reverance your majestic presence.
Saluting you by raising up the blades
That we have pledged you will find worthy
Not through mere victory, but through honor.
So shall chivalry adorn your golden crowns.

For what gem of Earth could prove more worthy?
What presence grace your brow more than honor?
So pledge we our blades, and salute the crowns!