This poem includes elements of several epics, poems, and myths. Like Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, it follows a strict rhythmic and rhyming structure designed to make it easier to memorise and recite. However, it is more similar in substance to 1001 Nights, in that it features a narrator telling a story containing elements of the fantastic and prioritizes soft power over hard power.

Some years ago while walking by the river
I chanced upon a near-forgotten friend
And there, to me she would at last deliver
Her tale, though her life had not reached its end

She said she’d speak of dragons and a tower
Of daemons, lords, and princes, all now dead
She told a tale of great and fearsome power
And now to you I relate what she said

Long ago in lands not too far yonder
My father, noble bard, did happen on
An archfiend, far too beautiful to ponder
Yet he sat down and played for her a song

She paused, and on a rock she did there listen
As chords and singing pulsed on through the air
He played of morning spiderwebs that glisten
As morning dew upon them glitters fair

She would have killed him many times that morn
But his song stopped her spells and drew her back
For if he died, she thought she might yet mourn
That song, of dew and sun and spiders black

He told her of a widow, grey and old
Her venom strong had slain many a man
In web she sat, in ambush in the cold
Designed according to a careful plan

With these strands she would capture her next victim
Hold him there while her poison stopped his heart
But on those strands while dewdrops did there glisten
True beauty could be seen within in her art

And while she sat there waiting in her web
Something in her heart that beauty moved
And on the spot, she made a solemn pledge
For only beauty she’d her talents use

And so it was that when the bard’s song ended
The daemon had forgot about her plan
Within her heart had this brave bard ascended
She’d stay with him until he quit this land

And on that day my parents joined together
United by mere chance and a song
And though their union could not last forever
From it I and some joy yet came along

My early years were full of joy and laughter
I learned both to use magic and play song
It seems that they were meant to be together
But this union would not yet last long

For though my father’s song had beauty
And to him she had made a solemn vow
An archfiend never yet has kept a treaty
And this one she would not for long keep now

She left my father bitter and despairing
She took me to a new land far away
High beauty it now seemed could have no bearing
Twas slave to her emotions strange and fey

I’d lived in this new place a little while
I realized that I could no longer stay
And so I hatched a plan with wit and guile
Or so I thought, back in that younger day

My mother often sat in chair and knitted
Her needles long and grey would clack and click
And so I thought while in that chair she waited
I could poison the drink that she’d next sip

And so for weeks I hunted for a poison
Powerful enough to fall her sick
But even now I did not have a reason
To stop her heart, to cut her to the quick

And then eventually I found a spider
With venom dripping slowly from it’s fang
And thus, I thought, I’d found a way to slip her
To knock her out and flee while her head rang

And so when day while I prepared her coffee
I slipped a drop of poison in the cream
And she, it seem, could as yet not detect me
She slumbered still, caught in the realm of dream

When she awoke, I handed her the saucer
Watched her as she drained what I had steeped
My naive self still thought that I had had beat her
That she would soon fall into a deep sleep
But she was possessed of great constitution
And though this poison ran inside her veins
She did not sleep or fall under illusion
Instead she looked at me and saw her bane

And then she drew up magic deep and mighty
Meaning to wield her power till I broke
Until she glanced down and noticed the tiny
Spider, and inside her something broke

To my surprise she then released her power
And she told me I must quickly go
Flee, and never come back to her tower
My father’s song had saved me I now know

My friend looked up and said she learned two lessons
That she would pass to me and thus to you
The first, despite all sadness and depression
Inside every being there is good

The second is perhaps a bit less hopeful
But nonetheless is noteworthy and true
If you attack an enemy be total
And should you strike be sure to run them through

Now her tale told my friend looked old and weary
And I knew that is was time for her to go
I said to her that I would miss her dearly
She smiled and left with the river’s flow