Xena, Gabrielle and other characters featured on Xena: Warrior Princess are copyrighted to MCA/Universal and Renaissance Pictures.

This ballad or shanty , based on Ides of March, depicts scenes of violence. I’ve substituted Joxer for Eli and have made one or two alterations to the story.

Note: bean is a Gaelic term for "young woman".

I’d much appreciate your feedback.

for Xena and Gabrielle

senachie: smith@xpres.net


Wingin’ home,
when we go wingin’ home,
when we go wingin’, wingin’,
when we go wingin’ home...

Winter come down hard that year, and with it ice and cold;
the milk froze in the bucket and the crops were left to mold.
A stranger army stole a march and caught us unawares;
sharp spears, they had, and swingin’ swords and hefty pikes and tares.

"Give it up. We got ye now! Your stores, your stacks, your stalls,
your coops and kilns and harvest keres were booty for our halls".
They bound us from the village lodge and brung us to the fort,
and fixed us fast with straps o’ steel to taunt us their for sport.

And there we lay; no word o’ wives nor wee ones in their cribs,
no soup in pots, no sauce in pans, nor meat nor bread nor squibs;
‘til long there come a band o’ three did join us in our chains:
a sweet-eyed lass, a feisty bean, a lad what moaned his pains.

"Ne’er mind what harm they done ye, through this long and lonely night,
for soon there’ll come," the sweet eyes says, "a warrior brave and bright.
Her sword were like a lantern beam, her chakram like a light;
whate’er the loss they laid ye low, ‘twere soon she’ll set it right."

Then all at once a fiery flame come flashin’ through the door,
amidst a golden glow did leap a ragin’ wonder sure;
tall and mighty as an oak with locks as black as coal,
and eyes as blue as heaven’s dome before the boomers roll.

Brassy was her corselet and leather thronged her thighs,
and ‘round her arms two gauntlets sported jade and em’rald ties.
Her sharp-edged slasher swung a blow what give a crashin' clang,
and rent the bars what held us close as to our aid she sprang.

"Through the hold, around the keep," cried out the maid in brass,
"and to the wood behind the fort your company shall pass.
Amarice and Joxer will escort ye to the lea.
Hasten ere they fend in force. My love, ye stay with me."

We done the warrior's biddin' yet our way was blocked and barred.
We hid behind the barrel staves and peered about the yard.
And there we saw the maid o’ steel go at it might and main,
with five, then ten, then twenty men and twenty more again.

The sweet eyes battled by her side, with staff so stiff and stout;
as inch by inch the bitter way, they eked an exit out.
Then high above our cringin’ heads, along the pallisade,
we heard a cry what chilled our blood all for din it made.

A hag in whitish raiment, with face most beauteous fair,
cried out, "I canna let them ‘scape fore’er out my lair!"
And then the demon raised a disc o’ sharp and shinin’ sheen,
and with a wail she flung it far and felled the warrior queen.

The guards drew back, the gate flew wide; 'twere then we seen our chance.
Took to our heels as bold we run and ne’er a backward glance.
Pell mell we fled across the field, the distant hills they hove.
"Xena, come!" the sweet eyes cried. "I canna move, my love."

And when the sweet eyes did espy the issue of her heart
laid low amidst the drafty dust all sense from her did part.
And with the sword o’ that she loved, she hacked and hewed and slew,
a dozen heads lay at her feet before the madness flew.

Besmirched in gore, they drug ‘em aft and dumped ‘em in a pit.
And all that dread and dreary night the beacon fires lit.
And us they rode to rescue, how we fleeted through the wood,
until the village came in view, our huts and meadows good.

"I’m goin’ back to save my friends what now in peril lie,"
the lad in mail, he drew his dirk, "’til even if I die."
"It’s sure and you’ll do no such thing," up spake the feisty bean,
"’twould be a swift and certain death for one so meek and green.

"‘Twere well you lead these gentle folk along the rutted road.
I’ll go alone and gods’ good will, I’ll do as e’er I’m bode."
"’Twere hardly meet a lissome lass doth ferret through the wood,
without a guard to guide," says I, "and neither cloak nor hood."

"You’re but a man," she says right well. "There may be fightin’ done.
A man what’s quick with sword and stick? I’ve never met a one."
"A wary watch then I might keep or hold your pin and purse.
Or at the very least," says I, "could hurl a horrid curse."

"Then come," says she, "and don’t be slow; for time runs on apace.
My tribe of Amazonia this sword shall ne’er disgrace.
And if I spy ye turn your back, no matter what the cause,
I’ll run ye through, aye, that I will, accordin’ to our laws."

Through glade and glen and grove we sped, o’er bracken, berm and dross;
too late we come to see the lasses lashed upon the cross.
The snow did scald their sallow skin, their hair both dark and gold,
yet in their eyes there glowed a light most wond’rous to behold.

The blood, the nails, the broken backs; my gods, they beat ‘em so;
more beasts than men to rack a woman’s bones for joy or show.
With groanin' gasp, the feisty bean took out her weepin’ knife,
and pierced her palm as though her honor bade her take her life.

"Ah, woe is me and woe is thee and woe in all this land,"
she keened and cried and wept until the tears did moist her hand.
"Let this place be wan and waste, no livin’ waters flow;
for here the best of all our kin did fall amidst the foe!"

Then back we gone, the bean to hers and me again to mine,
but not before she give to me a token and a sign:
a wound most radiant splendorous, both dark and light in turn,
that this day be rememberéd ‘pon bannock, brae and burn.

For when a cross were spiked and nailed and bodies set to lie,
the howl o’ hammer flailin' flesh doth mock the raven’s cry.
And when the soul in agony her final chorus sings,
her spirit’s flyin’ homeward bound, borne up on raven’s wings.

Wingin’ home,
when we go wingin’ home,
when we go wingin’, wingin’,
when we go wingin’ home...

The End

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