Not quite on break yet - four more weeks to final exams... but I am certainly in much need of that vacation. My doctor keeps frowning and 'suggesting' more rest and less stress, hah.
This piece was written specifically for the online class 'Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist' I've just completed at www.abbeyofthearts.com, a spiritual/artistic renewal based on ancient wisdom practices and the Benedictine Rule. One of the many projects we were challenged to do was to create a sort of 'rule' for ourselves, a poem about how we felt our place in the world worked out, as either a monk or an artist. Since I so strongly identify with the 'way of the bard' as an artist, I chose to focus specifically on that aspect. Much of the poem is personal, but Santharia deserved that honesty. And since I am so steeped in medievalism and the love of language, this is the original poem, without artificial Santharization, just as I offered it to the class forums.
An introduction specifically for the site should be in character, though, so:
"This poem was written as a personal reflection by Judith of Bardavos, upon the attainment of her third ring. She shared it with a few fellow bards at the private ceremony of presentation, and was encouraged to make it public to the School of Tunes, as a perfect example of 'the teaching tunes' which are used to instruct and guide young singers and poets in their path along the bardic way. Both cautionary and inspiring, the poem references both the duties and the privileges of a bard. Its by-now well-known title refers to the 'meed' or payment, that which is requited to a labourer in response to his/her efforts, and warns young minstrels - who might see only the glory and glamour of singing for kings, or to dream of their golden torcs - that the rewards of a bardic life are more than likely to be intangible."