The Ballad Of The Rhyming Knight
Who is this slightly ridiculous figure clopping by?
Who else but Francis himself? A little light hearted mockery of his own rhymed quest.
A bit of a breather after the intensities of the two preceding poems. The knight is also of course a representative figure of all the seekers in the search for the Infinite.
How to Read
We can’t exaggerate the jingle aspect but it is not to be hidden either. Read with a pretty regular 4 beats to a bar helps to keep it light-hearted.
The point is surely that under the bewildering world that the five senses (panchakosh) provide, the innocent heart goes blindly on with its quest for a love that will eventually transcend the sensuous. Variety and humour keep the poem fresh and alive for us and give a relief from the previous savage satire. History is full of romance holiness and beauty, and poets sing it, but it only escapes from the cascade of appearances when
God-Man prepares to come on stage
And sing salvation for this age. (page 52)