The Jester - a Medieval Poem

Updated on September 11, 2019
Jodah profile image

John is a long-time poet, short fiction, and article writer. He studied a Writing for Profit course through ICS but loves story-telling.

Image by Momentmal from Pixabay
Image by Momentmal from Pixabay | Source

The Jester

The jester stood before the King,

His head bowed in respect,

"I stand here at your bidding, Sire."

Knowing nought what to expect.


The King's voice boomed both loud and slow,

"You'll kneel before the throne.

You are the lowly knave of spades,

For treason, you'll atone!"


"But, Sire, I've never done you wrong,

Or spoke against the crown.

What traitorous act is it I've done?

I am a loyal Court's clown."


"I heard it told, you have conspired

To bring this Kingdom down.

Plead now for your sorry life

Or in the lake, you'll drown."


"Well, My Lord, if truth be known...,"

The jester played his hand,

"Your guards have raped and pillaged

Across this once great land."


"My beloved village in your path

Is now just ash and rubble.

My wife and child just cinders now,

So, now I'll cause you trouble."


The jester threw his cloak aside,

His hand closed on the hilt.

He wasn't here to entertain

And felt no shame or guilt.


"Seize him, guards!" the King exclaimed,

But before they could respond

The jester with such lightning speed,

Flashed his sharpened sword.


The guards were slain, right whence they stood,

The King's face froze in fear,

"You are no jester of the Court,

So warned my faithful seer!"


"Oh, I'm no clown, Sire, that is true,

In fact, I am a knight.

I stand before you to avenge

The evil that you spate."


With sword point pressed against his throat

The King begged for his life,

But the jester showed no mercy,

"This is for my child and wife!"


The sword plunged deep, the King's mouth gaped,

He toppled from his throne.

The jester shed the clothes of fools,

As a knight, he'd now be known.


He had revenge, though it's not sweet,

You cannot change the past,

But he vowed to right the bad King's wrongs

Until he breathed his last.

Image by RENE RAUSCHENBERGER from Pixabay
Image by RENE RAUSCHENBERGER from Pixabay | Source

Off the Shelf - "The Jester" by James Patterson and Andrew Gross

My regular readers will know all about my "Off the Shelf" series, but if you a new it is where I select a book from among the hundreds in my bookcase and use the title for inspiration to write a poem, story, or article. Most times what I write has no relation to the content of the book itself, but on this occasion, my poem is based on the story. I do claim a little poetic licence, however. For instance, in my poem, the protagonist is a king (not a duke) and the jester's wife was killed instead of kidnapped.

The Jester is only the second book I ever read that was written by James Patterson (this time in collaboration with Andrew Gross.) I won't go into my opinion here of Patterson's collaborations and how much input he actually has in regard to the writing, because this is, in my opinion, his best novel. it has also led me to seek out books written by Andrew Gross himself.

"Hugh De Luc returns from the Crusades to find his son killed, his wife kidnapped, and his town gutted in the search for a priceless relic . . . and now, he must fight to save everything he holds dear.

With the rapid pace of a page-turning thriller, The Jester is a breathtaking adventure. Full of pulse-pounding plot twists and mysteries, Hugh's quest to find Sophie is one of the most unforgettable love stories in all of fiction." (Amazon)

I found this novel to be exciting and one of those rare books that are difficult to put down. You can't wait to see what transpires on the next page.

Stock photo, reduced resolution, free use
Stock photo, reduced resolution, free use | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2019 John Hansen

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      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks for reading, Beth. Yes, that is true. Court jesters we’re out mere clowns and fools. It was often their job to offer sage advice to the ruler

      • bethperry profile image

        Beth Perry 

        4 weeks ago from Tennesee

        Clever, honest jester. Reminds of the origins of historic court "fools". They weren't there to merely entertain, but appointed to serve as the living conscience of the ruler.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        He certainly was not a fool, Mark, and a force to be reckoned with in fact. Thank you for reading.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you very much, Priya.

      • Mark Tulin profile image

        Mark Tulin 

        6 weeks ago from Santa Barbara, California

        Nice job, John. That jester was no fool.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        6 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

        I van be full of surprises at times, Steve. I guess the title “The Jester” gave the impression it would be humorous...a bit of a red herring.

      • Steve Tyson profile image

        Steve Tyson 

        6 weeks ago from Byron Bay, Australia

        I thought this was going to be an almost tongue-in-cheek piece John, but wow, it gets very serious! Fantastic...

      • Pria Dinesh profile image

        Priya Dinesh 

        2 months ago from Bangalore

        An amazing poem, John. I'm really inspired to read tje book now. Your rhyming pattern definitely deserves a special mention :')

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you very much for the generous comment, Miel. Yes, I can certainly highly recommend the book.

      • honeyreyes profile image

        Miel Reyes 

        2 months ago from Philippines

        This is such a poignant poem. I'm convinced it's a great book to read :-)

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        It is great that you found it MsB. Ok, actually audio books aren’t bad. My wife listens to a lot because she can work at her craft etc and listen to them at the same time. If one sounds interesting to me, I’ll sit and listen as well.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James MizBejabbers 

        2 months ago from Beautiful South

        John, it is available from our public library. Good thing because it's kind of pricey for an ebook. I just downloaded it, then I discovered I'd made a mistake and downloaded the audio book. LOL I plan to start listening to it in a day or so when I finish my current book.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Wow! Thank you Liz. I am so glad you got more than you expected with this poem.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        2 months ago from UK

        This is a skilfully written poem. From the title I was expecting a light hearted piece with a deeper message. Little did I know what was to come. This is a classic from you.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Mary, yes if you like any of Patterson’s books I don’t think you’ll be disappointed by this one. It is different from the rest, mainly due to the medieval setting, but I enjoyed it the most. Thanks for reading this.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks MizB, yes the plot is loosely based on the book. I hope this is available on ebook so that you can read it. Cheers.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hello Venkat, thanks for your generous comment. I am sure you will enjoy this book. I have so many on my reading list it is difficult to choose which to read next. I am currently reading The Martian by Andy Weir.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        2 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        I look forward to reading this book after your introduction. I have read some of Patterson's books and you claim this is his best so far. Enjoyed your poem. I love the narration and the story.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James MizBejabbers 

        2 months ago from Beautiful South

        Great story in your poem, John, but you said you borrowed your plot, so I'll just say "great poem!" This sounds like a book that is just up my alley, and I've just about finished a thriller I borrowed from the Kindle Owners Lending Library. If this one is in ebook form, maybe I'll break down and buy it.

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        2 months ago from Hyderabad, India

        A wonderful poem with some appealing story. You are really great at spinning the stories based on off-the-shelf books. Enjoyed it a lot.

        I would like to read that book by James Patterson after completing my present book on the Shiva Trilogy. I will be reading the last chapter of the second book tomorrow. And, then, the book in 15 days roughly. I will place the order for the Jester in the meantime.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you for reading this, Besarien. The jester character has always appealed to me for some reason. A clown persona often hides a much deeper individual and shouldn’t be underestimated. I like a few Patterson books and not others, but I can say the same with Stephen King. I don’t know the book Saboteur but if it is by Andrew Gross I would probably like it. Those I have read of his haven’t disappointed.

      • Besarien profile image

        Besarien 

        2 months ago from South Florida

        I love your poem, John. I've been the court jester in life long enough to know I'd make the worst knight ever. I do like to read about them in historical fantasies though. Your recommendation for The Jester makes me want to give Patterson another twirl on the dancefloor. I haven't cared for the couple of his books I've read.

        I loved The Saboteur possibly written by Andrew Gross (or Michael, Matthew Gross, maybe?) I read it what seems like yonks ago and am very bad with names. It was a fictionalized account of a mission to delay Hitler's atomic weapons program. Nicely written and researched, not so heavy on the fiction as to take away from the history but packed with intrigue and derring-do. Providing the same guy wrote it, I'd recommend this Andrew Gross book!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Aww, Devika, what can I say in reply to that? Thank you so much for reading and appreciating what I write.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        2 months ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        Your poems amaze me and this is no exception

      • Dana Tate profile image

        Dana Tate 

        2 months ago from LOS ANGELES

        James Patterson is one of my favorite authors. I am now reading "The Texas ranger." It's a page turner but all of his books are. I might just try the one who inspired your off the shelf series.

        Is it really that good? I always felt the books he co-writes, are not as good as the ones he writes alone.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Glad you enjoyed the read MsDora. Who doesn’t love a sword fight?

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks a lot, Lora. I couldn’t put this book down. It is an exciting read, and yes inspired my poem.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Ruby, I am hoping you find a few books to inspire you too. No, I haven’t heard of Edgar Cayce but I may have to investigate. Maybe use one of his for your inspiration.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hey Shauna, so glad you enjoyed my version of the story, and I am always surprising you it seems :)

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you SARA, I greatly appreciate your comment and thoroughly recommend the novel.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        I concur, Bill, in everything you say,

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Pamela. I am glad you enjoyed this poem, and yes the book is great.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        2 months ago from The Caribbean

        A good-read narrative! The clear intentions and sword fight keep our attention.

      • Lora Hollings profile image

        Lora Hollings 

        2 months ago

        Your poem shines like the knight who brought down this ruthless king! Such an excellently crafted poem grips us in its story. You certainly must have been inspired by this book, "The Jester." Will certainly have to read this one. Thanks for sharing!

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        2 months ago from Southern Illinois

        I loved this poem! I'm looking over my books to see if they inspire me enough to write. Have you read Edgar Cayce's books? I think I have them all. He inspires me. He was a remarkable psychic.

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        2 months ago from Central Florida

        John, I should know by now, but I'm always surprised to find your poems are "off the shelf".

        This was beautifully written. While I'm sure the book provides suspense and support for the shining knight to find his damsel in distress, I love the twist in your poetic version.

        Just desserts have been served!

      • saraz profile image

        SARA 

        2 months ago from Islamabad

        How beautifully you have written this poem...epic

        It's holding audience attention...I must say..

        Can't wait to read out this thrilling novel.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        2 months ago from Olympia, WA

        I would support Gross...not Patterson. :) I think I would have been the court jester back then...the mask would have protected me, me thinks! Loved the poem, John!

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        2 months ago from Sunny Florida

        I loved your poetry today, and I did know you used your books for a bit of inspiration. I thought this poem was especially good. I may read that book also as it sounds good.

      • The0NatureBoy profile image

        Elijah A Alexander Jr 

        2 months ago from Washington DC

        I concur, John, What is called by many names want the messages out concerning the times we are living in.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi Rafia. Nice to see a new name. Welcome to HubPages and thank you for the kind comment.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Elijah, I have noticed the same thing a number of times here. I have just published something and read someone else’s hub with practically same message in a different way. It is though a greater power (maybe God) is determined to get that lesson out there to as many as possible. Thank you for reading and I am on my way to read your Sophy 15.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Hello, Ann. Thank you for your comment. I really enjoyed this book and glad my poem didn’t disappoint.

      • megalos profile image

        rafia 

        2 months ago from lahore pakistna

        hi john .. i am new ..but i read your poem ..it is excellent .i am loving your pieces of poetry .

      • The0NatureBoy profile image

        Elijah A Alexander Jr 

        2 months ago from Washington DC

        John, if a Jester (Joker) is dressed in many colors he is the sum of all things any human can manifest as - Today's Sohpy 15 - so his being a Knight was how he was camouflaged to take down the unjust King who was, metaphorically speaking, a white Joker. Thus, you have said the same thing I did in 15. It is interesting how what someone else say in one way can be said in so many other ways. I believe that is why so few people understand the scriptures, they don't recognize the similarities between stories.

        Magnificently done, my friend, it kept me glued until the end.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        2 months ago from SW England

        Wonderful poem, John, telling a gripping story. The book sounds like a good'un too.

        This is well-paced and exciting and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

        Ann

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Eric, glad it kept you in suspense. Yeah, I really like Robert Ludlum's collaborations especially his Covert One series.

      • Ericdierker profile image

        Eric Dierker 

        2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

        Very cool. Very exciting. I could not even imagine where this was going. I like callaboration work better now. It just works for me with Patterson, Clancy and Cussler.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        I greatly appreciate your comment Shaloo. I am glad the scene was easy to visualize. Thanks for reading.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Lorna. I don't know what the fate of the jester would be if he read this poem to the court :) Glad you enjoyed the drama.

      • swalia profile image

        Shaloo Walia 

        2 months ago from India

        What a lovely poem! I could visualize the drama being unfolded in front of my eyes..scene by scene...brilliant!

      • Lorna Lamon profile image

        Lorna Lamon 

        2 months ago

        I love the drama you have created in this poem John which I imagined being read in court by the Jester.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        2 months ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks a lot, Flourish. You were quick today :) I am glad you are enjoying this series.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        2 months ago from USA

        Well done! I enjoy this series and you have done it again with this one! Very exciting!

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