It pains me to discuss my heritage
but it’s important that you know
that I come not from noble lineage
but from the lowest of the low.
“My father Gruffud’s bonded by indenture
to harvest silk for Codmar’s looms,
but silken sickness saps his strength (no cure)
and clouds his waking thoughts with gloom.”
“The family worry is we’ll be ejected
from humble shack and garden square;
my father thrown in prison, we evicted,
unless we pay our silken share.”
“My mother Emlyn shoulders all the burden
of our less than ample home,
and though her face is tough I see she’s hurting
and that she’s wearied to the bone.”
“My older brother Cefyn has exchanged
a soldier’s lance for farmer’s scythe
so she alone must barter to arrange
the silk we need to pay our tithe.”
As a child I was tall but not
what anyone would call robust
and carding silk or scratching garden plot
absolutely was the worst.
At every chance I snuck away, it seems,
avoiding all things ordinary,
to breed my arach manu hopes and dreams
by reading in our town’s library.
At twelve years old I joined the fortune-blessed,
my future was reborn anew:
I’d been accepted to the Eilo Gwyst
Academy of Arach Manu.
By Meuric Prifath, head of manu science,
on scholarship I was admitted
and armed with more than my own self-reliance
my mind with knowledge could be fitted.
It is my solemn duty, sworn and bound:
top marks at this academy
so Meuric and my mother will have found
their faith is justified in me.