The Queen of Nineteen Trebles
Over Dwyrenland held sway
And Heimlenholm and Ruddland
And many more to date
Yet, “My kingdom for a sceptre”
She oftentimes would say
And none did understand her,
So grand as she was vague.
For she had a crown of moonstones,
And the mountain leopard’s cape
And in her right hand firmly
Shone the sceptre of her state.
A suitor once ventured to ask:
“My Queen, wherefore this fancy
For that which you already hold,
And with other rods a-plenty?”
That man never appeared again
Before the Queen of Nineteen Trebles,
So the question was forgotten
While the jest kept in the annals.
There came a year of troubles,
When the nobility turned coat
Advisors naught but enemies
As ambition begot revolt.
But the Queen of Nineteen Trebles
Had long suspected such a threat –
The conspirators were slaughtered
And their forces fast beset.
Then did Her Majesty fare forth,
Intentions bent upon remedy
For the people still unsettled,
And her inner circle lacking.
Her counselors had fallen, true,
But the Queen prepared a test
She would raise to Duke or Duchess
One whose answers pleased her best.
Merchant, commoner, soldier alike,
Flocked to meet their Queen
Daring the aureate challenge
That might their fortunes glean.
Yet the Queen of Nineteen Trebles
Was as a sphinx under her crown,
Until a daughter turned to scholar
Entered, and was announced.
She bowed and gave prescriptions
In wisdom and careful knowledge
On matters farm and military
Her manner shy yet solemn.
Of a sudden, the girl faltered
So her rapt Queen commanded:
“Speak, my girl, and directly –
Ask whatsoever you are minded.”
Then the youthful scholar spoke,
In her hesitance still bravely:
“Of what are your Nineteen Trebles
My great and gracious Queen?
Some things in triplicate surely,
And yet wherein the meaning?
I have sought for years, but fruitless,
I remain a fool in waiting.”
Then the Queen of Nineteen Trebles
Arose with both hands empty.
“Now I have found my sceptre,
Though I was years in waiting.”
So the unassuming scholar
Was made Duchess in her own right,
And she gave the Queen fair counsel
‘Till the age passed into night.
Elizabeth Cook, 2016
Image by NatMonney at DeviantArt