Have I told you of the three knights who journeyed to Spain
And only one managed to come back again?
If you know not of what I speak but still wish to know
There are probably records librarians stow
In their chambers; I assume that you can read.
Otherwise there is not much that can lead
You to be curious regarding this matter.
I hope such poems do not exist as a tatter
Of parchment, otherwise it might not catch your eye
But nevertheless, should you see it, give its content a try.
Now, I assume you wish to leap to the story I wish to tell
Else I imagine I would be swept into Hell
On grounds of my Sloth, so no longer will I procrastinate.
The topic at hand is Johannes, and I will elaborate.
If you have heard of the Johannes I name, you know
He would be one to pull a fair woman to and fro.
This Johannes was a German, mind you
And fought in the East, and Africa, too.
I neglect to describe his younger brothers beforehand.
I do not wish to upset Time, by the Land!
Johannes was born to Sir Walther of Albrich
A man who loved money, though he was not rich!
Walther was more of a wandering fellow
Wary by day, but drunk 'till quite yellow.
His armor consisted of a mail shirt.
The rest he had sold for practically dirt!
How could a man of such lowly actions
Approach wealthy women and earn good reactions?
Although Walther was hardly worthy of dung
He had perfected the art of the tongue.
If I knew Johannes' mother, I'd certainly mourn her
Bad fortune, and I would create a wild stir
For the sake of this poor woman's heart.
Oh, but sadly I can hardly start.
What is done is forever the case
And Johannes was born with a handsome face.
Thank God it did not reflect his father's form
Else it might provoke a furious storm
Directed at his blundering parent
Whose exploits were to the world apparent.
Who cared for young Johannes within the first year?
'Twas not Walther not his poor mother, I hear.
Fate would have Johannes wind up in a stream
As was with Moses- my, for the boys' sake, does your heart scream?
Thank God, this stream housed no crocodile
But nevertheless, Johannes floated awhile
Until he was plucked from the drifting deep waters
By the great, merciful Condirs of Fotters.
I have motivation to praise this knight
Who had stood for his people throughout hostile blight.
Now, in his mail mitts, he held this poor child
As if sent from Heaven- shed tears were not mild!
With his wife he had never beget daughter or son
But now with prayers granted, he set off at a run.
The young knight Condirs vowed to block harm
From this Romulus he now held in his arm.
It is this man who granted young Johannes his name
But sadly the young wolf was not one to tame.
As was with Walther, Johannes was one to flirt
And poor, honest Condirs could not make him less alert.
Johannes was not deprived of knightly upbringing
And thus was he drawn to the sound of swords ringing.
When others stopped business with the quintain
Johannes, fine soldier, would proudly remain.
Young women would watch and giggle at his might
As Johannes cantered by, grinning, teeth white.
This, I might add, was only the beginning
And Johannes watched for his audience thinning
And when in numbers they seemed to lack
He would work boldly to win the latter back.
At length it came Johannes' ceremony
Of knighthood, and he delivered the testimony
Stating that he would be a good knight; you know the rules,
And those who do not are ignorant fools!
A knight must be a man of God and thus of love
But trust me, handsome Johannes was no sweet dove.
While sword and girdle were placed about his waist
It was a nearby girl Johannes faced.
Later, it was the Church the new knight would defy
And Condirs, warm his heart, was left to cry.
"Son, why do you always torture me so
With your lust for women, which never ceases to grow?
Between when you were lost and later were found,
Were there demons or witches abound?
I spared you from suckling some wild dog
But even the Heathen would name you a hog!
Was it how I raised you throughout all your years?
Did I let some foul lesson flow to your ears?"
Having said this, Condirs waited upon the cruel boy
Certain to keep watch for some sinful ploy.
"If I can earn fair forgiveness, let me do so," said Johannes, face calm.
"I am willing to fight in the shade of the palm.
If I must do as much to earn favor from the Church
I grant them my sword so they need never search
For a man to take reigns and fight in God's name,
And as for the heathen, I will do the same
As the Lord would do me if I further insulted
His honor, from doing which your sadness has resulted.
When I return from the East, my soul will be clean
And in it no impurity will ever be seen."
This task was not so easy, as Johannes would learn
As the priest who had baptized him would not let him earn
Forgiveness on grounds of simple crusading
As he had heard of the knights who went about raiding
The least bellicose pagans, and Christians, at that!
And he drove Johannes from the chapel; the impertinent brat
Cursed the clergyman and gathered his arms
As from his face fled all of his charms.
He rode out without so much as nodding to Condirs
Whose later circumstances everyone ponders.
What would become of this impudent boy
Who abused his own soul as a dog would some toy?
Johannes rode long 'till he knew he was lost
And in his mind wretched guilt was firmly embossed.
Kindly Condirs had done him little more than good.
Johannes did not know where his reasoning stood.
Soon, it seemed quite stoutly decided
That God had made him to be derided.
If one priest would deny him, then stone him,
Thought Johannes, anger surpassing its rim.
So quickly he left, he hardly considered
His image which had mostly certainly bittered
In dishonoring his father in crippling haste.
This was an action of ignoble taste!
Through trees he bolted madly, alone,
His horse growing tired and worn to the bone.
All but his arms was not his to keep
But young Johannes was rather quick to reap
The crude, tangible benefits of sin
Not detecting the deep dangers within.