The King’s Cup

Being away from Orkney and Westray only makes the memories of being there more intense. Whilst I look forward to my next trip there, here’s a poem I wrote many years ago – the lines “And gazed at the blue waves breaking, On the fine bright silver sand,” always remind me of Westray’s beaches.

The King’s Cup

The King, he kept a keep-sake,
A silver drinking cup,
And only on great occasions would
He take the goblet up.

A maiden he loved truly,
The goblet to him gave,
Before she went so cruelly
Into an early grave.

He treasured it and held it
So tight in shaking hands.
He loved it more than anything
In all his Kingdom’s lands.

But Death with the King had spoken,
His time on earth was spent,
Left but a few short hours before
Heaven, or punishment.

He took the cup and left
Those high white palace walls,
The echoes of his footsteps’ tread
No more to grace their halls.

He walked down to the seashore,
The goblet in his hand,
And gazed at the blue waves breaking
On the fine bright silver sand

One lingering look he gave it,
Before he lifted up,
And far over the sea threw,
His maiden’s silver cup.

The dial-hand moved full circle,
His time came to an end.
Death came, not a fearsome foe,
But a long-lost loyal friend.

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