Dennis O'Driscoll reads

Some Wonder Am I

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Some wonder am I,
            made for mayhem,
ear-catchingly adorned,
            to my owner dear.
Variegated my mail,
            weaving its web
round the death-gem
            gifted by the lord
who leads me firmly forward
            toward the battle fray.
Arrayed in richest raiment
            a smith could style,
I glow like gold
            in the morning light.
Warring with my weapons,
            wounds I gouge
in body and in soul.
            Treasured by the king,
heaped with honors
            in his hall, I am object
of his silver-tongued tributes
            where wassailing
warriors splash out mead.
            Tightly confined I am,
tired of travel, but bold when
            freed for battle clash.
I deal a savage death
            blow to a man before
his friend can fend
            me off; cursed my
customs are by man.
            No progeny of mine
can I presume on
            to avenge a fatal
mutilation meted out
            to me; descendants
are denied me
            unless I cease
to serve the paster who
            rewarded me with rings.
My fate it is
            to follow my lord
in combat as he will,
            deprived of pleasurable prospect
of bridge and brood.
            Chaste must I live
as my bond commands,
            bearing a bachelor’s lot,
reaping manly recompense.
            Brightly filigreed,
I infuriate a woman,
            rob her of joy,
diminish her desire.
            Loud her accusations grow,
raucously she rails,
            her hands spell
out my shame.
            That battle is the one I shun …

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