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 … Listen to more readings from The Word Exchange »