SWORDS AND HORSES – A Petrarchan Sonnet*

a poem by Adam Archer, Australia

Embattled men usurp the sword to bestir;
Recalling an old adage: ‘slay or be slayed!’
‘Pon hilly grounds an ambush some assay,
As looming troops inch forth nigh and bleaker.
When blades do charge, and cross, with naught moves to err,
Each feuding side must bide the risks that weigh;
Suffer not the blow of the downward sway –
Be, nay fair bards on this warring field were.

Issuing from its sheath in silent swings;
Not drowned by adrenaline-driven chords,
But rather of precision a skilled draw brings,
Still, blood marks the hands wielding gelid swords.
Thy foe, whose skills guile such haught Trojan wrings,
Still, horses and soldiers gather in hoards.


© Adam Archer 2018


*The Petrarchan Sonnet is so named by its Italian creator – poet and scholar, Francesco Petrarca 1304-1374. Comprising of an octave rhyme: abba, abba and a sestet rhyme, in this example, cdc, dcd. The sestet rhyme is not strict and may vary in its order. The meter is in iambic pentameter.

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