Daily Archives: April 2, 2012

C – Chivalry

When I thought about a ‘C’ word for the Middle Ages, I immediately thought of chivalry. We hear a lot about it, but what does it mean.
I remember walking back to my tent at one SCA camping event carrying a small basket with my toiletries in it. Suddenly, it was taken from my hand by a young man who carried it the rest of the way. Now this basket was small and light, and it was no problem for me to carry it. But, I was a lady, and he was a gentleman.
A few months ago, I was cleaning out a box of stuff I’d had in my storage unit and came across this poem I wrote years ago – so many years, I’d forgotten I wrote it.

What Chivalry Means to Me
A little boy sat reading
A tale of days of old
Of fierce and fearsome dragons
And knights so brave and bold.

He looked up at his mother
With eyes so bright and keen
“Mother what is this word here?
What does chivalry mean?”

Now mothers, as we all know,
Are always smart and wise.
But this one looked down at her son
With very puzzled eyes

“Well, I’ll tell you what let’s do” she said.
“Let’s see what Wesbter has to say
About this word chivalry
And what it means today.”

She went over to the bookshelf
Took down a book with care
Opened it to the proper page
And read what was written there.

“Admirable qualities”
Is what the dictionary said
“Like courage and courtesy”
The mother also read.

“Is that all it means?”
The child asked with a frown
“It seems so much more grander
When you see it written down.”

“Well, let’s think about it
It must mean more than this.
Let’s think of all the things we can
And add them to the list.”

“I know, there’s truth,” the young lad said
“You should not tell a lie.”
“What of honor and integrity?”
The mother did reply.

“Oh, yes, those should be on our list.
They’re good qualities it’s true.
And charitable, helpful, selfless…”
The list just grew and grew.

So now I have an answer
To give that’s proud and true
The next time someone asks me
“What does chivalry mean to you?”