Ballade of Squirely Conspiracy

The Ballade (as opposed to the ballad) is one of the three “formes fixe” or “fixed forms” of 14th century French verse, the other two being the roundeau (round) and the verelai. The Ballade is made up of three stanzas and a shorter final dedication known as the prince – as that usually was the first word in it, or the envoi.

The most common is the eight line verse ending with the four line envoi, in this rhyme pattern: ababbcbC ababbcbC ababbcbC bcbC. There are only three rhymes, C is a refrain and identical in every measure and no rhyme word should be repeated. Usually iambic the most common line lengths are eight (tetrameter) or ten syllables (pentameter).

Say, tell me, why is the Queen nonplussed?
Why are her ladies in a hue and cry?
All the feast tokens have turned to dust
The banners are tangled, the hall’s a sty
And knights are imbibing, on the sly,
When you finally have the problems resolved,
Nothing mysterious, you think with a sigh
There always are some squires involved.

When things go awry as they often must,
The household’s deserted, left high and dry.
When your best armor is found filled with rust,
But oil and sand-paper in short supply,
Who’s got the wrench, the pliers, the die?
When trickery’s afoot and games unresolved
You know the culprits, you’d have to imply
There always are some squires involved.

Where are the carrots or the pie crust?
Why are the hounds not sleeping lie?
When scrolls spontaneously combust
And Laurels throw up their hands to the sky
Do not give the blameless the evil eye
Page or Pelican, they will be absolved
History repeats, you need not ask why
There always are some squires involved.

Gentles, this reasoning you cannot deny
This rule will work when there’s mysteries unsolved
When Heralds get hiccups and court goes awry
There always are some squires involved.