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A Bard's Tale

With neither sword nor shield I stood and fell,

A giant with naught but whispered spell,

With shaking knees but a steadfast smile, 

I proved my strength within my guile, 

With honeyed words I stayed the hand,

Of a giant in a foreign land. 

I traveled wide, I traveled far, 

From city to town, from bed to bar, 

I'd drink and spin a tale or two, 

Dreaming up some daring do, 

Until my mouth spoke before my head, 

About laying once in a giant's wife's bed, 

And while bad tales told never get told twice, 

This one sorry song came with a price. 

The giant caught word, through from man or bird,

I've never quite sussed out how exactly he heard, 

Of the supposed adultery I'd said I'd committed, 

But nevertheless, he showed up outfitted,

Ready to battle for honor and pride,

Against me, and I was sure I'd lose my hide. 

Never the coward, but never the brightest, 

I stepped out to meet him, without even the slightest,

Idea in my head of how I'd survive,

And since under pressure the clever do thrive, 

I started speaking, talking, ranting,

I thanked the giant, for he was granting

My humble self a chance to meet and greet and dine,

A giant! And how only a fool would decline, 

But he cut me off fast with a sword through the air, 

Bellowing words that left me full of despair, 

He spoke not common, no half garbled speech, 

He spoke only in giant, and I did beseech, 

For someone to help, translate his tongue,

But there was no one around, I was already hung, 

Till I felt an idea hatch, so bold and obscene,

I would scare off the giant, who stood upwards of fifteen.

I summoned my magic, witch is not strong nor vast, 

I spoke only the words that I needed to cast, 

A thunderous spell that made the ground shake, 

Along with it my own voice did start to quake, 

I bellowed and thundered, I pointed and yelled, 

And the giant, confused, watched on and he held

His sword at his side, surprised by acts, 

And inside his head, he went through the facts, 

If a dwarf of my size had come and had laid

With his wife, well, that dwarf must have had aid,

And with the crack of the earth and the rumble of thunder, 

He thought of his gods, and began to wonder, 

If they could take shape of the lesser of races,

They could act smartly, could wear different faces,

As my own face contorted, turned red with fake rage, 

The giant before me sought not to engage, 

With what he now assumed was a god of his kind, 

That's what I assumed wen I saw his behind, 

As he ran out of town without one last look,

At the dwarf who had tricked him with a spell that shook,

The earth 'neath his feet and turned a whisper to shout, 

Now I see your faces and I know you doubt, 

That a dwarf who tells tales for his supper and coin, 

Could stand with some heroes? Well, I'd never join,

It's much safer for me to tell tales of delight, 

Why raise arms when my voice causes giants a fright?

Though I do have to wonder, when I lay down to sleep, 

If that giant thinks of me, and his utter defeat, 

Does he plot his revenge? Does he lust for vengeance?

Well, that's a good question, so now that it's mentioned,

I must be off, good to not stay too long, 

But if ever you're near and have need for a song, 

For a silver I'll tell you any tale you like, 

From romantic to funny, to vaguely warlike. 

Just say my name, but with name comes fame, 

So if a giant comes asking? Throw my name to the flame. 

Better a name, than the man in the flame! 

Ballad of the Unknown Warrior

The Dark Thirst, Drinks and Beds