Family Poem

It was many and many a year ago
In the year twelve hundred and three,
There dwelt a knight in the land of France
In the county of Picardie.

And the poor called blessing on his head
For tender of heart was he,
And for none other such praises rung
In all the faire countrie.

Now all good men it is their fate
Envy and dread to raise;
And there was one whose jealous heart
Angered to hear his praise.

Henri of Artois (Duke was he
Of the Royal blood of France)
A vow he made that come what would
This knight should feel his lance.

Now the banner of the cross was raised
In the fair summer time,
And all true knights who loved their soul
Went forth to Palestine.

So the knight of Picardie went forth
And the Duke of Artois as well,
To fights for the Sepulchre of their Lord
In the hands of the Infidel.

Of the noble men and the deeds they did,
My tale won't let me say;
But the Duke and the Knight met all alone
At the end of a battle day.

Now cried the Duke, "Be on your guard
For one of us must die;"
And the blows fell thick on their armour bright
They fought so lustily.

At last the Knight struck such a blow
It brought him to his knees,
"Strike, Sir Knight," now called the Duke,
"For you've won such a victory."

"No, Lord Duke, I give you your life,
It shall never be said of me
That I killed a man when I had him down,
Though my deadly enemy."

"Not enemies now, O peerless Knight,
For now I know full well
That none more noble or true than thou
In Picardie doth dwell."

"Thy shield hath our Crusader's Cross
And now to thee I give
Five snow white lilies off my shield
As pure as the name, Le Neve."

"And for thy crest I bid thee wear
What thou hast fairly won,
A golden lily, seeded and stalked
Thrust through my Ducal crown.

"Sola proba quae honesta :
That shall thy motto be,
That all posterity shall know
Noblesse oblige : Honesty."

-- Author unknown

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