Twas a queen in long agone times
whose husband was an old king
who ruled many lands, many climes,
and bound her with a wedding ring.
He gifted her a gemmy crown
studded with jewels all aglow,
yet the queen did but frown and frown
for the grave sadness she did know.
‘My dear darling,’ the great king said,
‘what ails you, my lovely flower?’
She said, ‘It is a matter of my bed,
for it is in a short tower.’
‘How doth that ail you?’ the king said.
And she answered, ‘Such short towers
bring no pleasure to those abed
in the lonely, feverish hours.’
So the king had his servants build
for his queen a looming tower
made of riverstone, in a field,
and in this did she embower.
‘Tis a fine tower,’ she remarked,
‘and nice, at its own modest height.
But,’ she added with an eyebrow arced,
‘Tis not so tall as is aright.’
So the king had more stones piled up
and the tower grew taller still,
the turret lofty like the cup
of a giant toasting his swill.
‘It is of adequate size now,’
the queen said with a blushing smile.
She raised a coquettish eyebrow
and bethought a wonderful wile.
The old king smiled, too, like a naif.
‘I am pleased you are pleased, my love,
and glad it is high, and, so, safe,
for tis like a bough for a dove.’
Yet the tower was now too high
and the king too old to walk it,
the steps making him groan and sigh
as his bones ached in each socket.
‘Will you not rejoin me?’ he asked,
‘for I miss you in my own bed.’
The queen said, ‘No, love,’ her face masked
with a smile rare since she was wed.
‘Husband, I am pleased being high
among the stars and the moonlight,
for it pleases me as I lie
abed and dream through the long night.’
She added, ‘Nor lonely am I,
but have my bard sing a sweet song
to put me to sleep, up so high
atop his tower—all night long.’
The king let be, happy his queen
was pleased and no longer forlorn,
and she was pleased, indeed serene,
coming to court happy each morn.