Poems and Poetic Fragments by Courtney Seligman

 The following poem was written in honor of my father, Bernard Seligman. It has proven a popular eulogy for loved ones now gone, and permission is hereby given for anyone to use it for that purpose, provided my authorship is acknowledged by adding "by Courtney Seligman" at the beginning or the end.

The Measure of a Man

The old man died, and the scribes who record
the lives of men in the Book of Ages
came to measure his life, and to set it down.
"How shall we measure the life of a man?"
the youngest of them inquired.
"By the passage of his days,"
the first one said, as he made his entry.
"By his deeds, great and small," another replied.
"By the wealth that he amassed," said yet another,
"Or by the power that he held," the fourth one suggested.

"But which way is best?" the youngest one wondered.
"There are many good ways and true,"
the wisest one answered,
"And each scribe is free to choose,"
"But the most telling," he noted, as he took out his pen,
"Is by the love in the hearts of those who knew him..."

Another memorial, in An Unsuitable Suit
(About my mother, Mynabelle (Mohrman) Seligman, who was determined to not marry a farmer)

She would’na see a farmer
Nor a farmer’s wife e’er be
So she wed a handsome soldier
An’ what come o’ that — were me!

 I occasionally need to include a poetic fragment in one of my stories, and since quoting the works of a real poet seems inappropriate for a fantasy-world setting, in such cases I create the "source" poems as needed. Some of these poems and fragments are shown below.

Song of the Adventurer
(From the puzzle box, in Blind Man's Bluff)

The wide world becks, and I must go,
Though where, I do not know.
I've set my sail to catch the breeze,
To take me where it blows.

To distant realms from childhood tales,
Where wondrous creatures play,
To lands of smoke and fire and ice,
Dread seas and mystic isles.

I'll chase the sun from break of day
Till sunset's ruddy glow,
Then chase the stars till they away
At twilight's soft hello.

Adventure calls, and I must go,
But when I roam no more,
I shall return, and find my love,
To tell her what I've seen,

Of boundless seas and endless lands,
Of wonders great and small,
Then take my store of treasures all,
And share them all with you.

The epigraph for The Doorway (a BridgeWorlds Book)
(purportedly from Ancient Lays and Tales, compiled by Reolf Groen)

And there shall be a great light in the heavens,
A portent of doom that will lay waste the world.
Cities will fall, and mountains will crumble,
And the worlds shall be ripped asunder.

And that which was lost shall be found,
And that which has risen before will rise again,
And that which has fallen before will fall again;
And there shall be an End of Days.

Doubt Not My Love
(from The Maiden All Forlorn)

Doubt ye my love?
Look then, and see,
How with such fine, bold letters,
And such fine, bold sentiments,
My love doth write to me;
And doubt my love no more.

When The Snow Is On The Mountain (Hans' Lullaby)
(from The New World, a BridgeWorlds Book)
A love song with nearly constant rhythm, melody and refrain, this tune has been used as a lullaby on Gra'aven for centuries. As is common with folk tunes, there are many minor variations of words and melody; the one used in The New World is shown below.

When the snow is on the mountain,
When the dew is on the dell,
I will love you, oh my darling,
I will love you, oh so well...

While the stars shine in the heavens,
While the waves still kiss the shore,
I will love you, oh my darling,
I will love you, ever more...

If the world grew old and weary,
And the flowers bloomed no more,
I'd still love you, oh my darling,
I would love you even more...

When the snow is on the mountain,
When the dew is on the dell,
I will love you, oh my darling,
I will love you, oh so well...

Other fragments from The New World to be posted later include

The Song of Leonin
An epic ballad commemorating his stand at the High Pass
against the forces of the Dark Lord, Thann Drogann

Morning Is Coming (And I Must Go)
purportedly an operatic extract from Leonin and Aurelia