First there came the troubadours, the minstrels

and the bards,

Those wanderers who roamed from town to town

Perhaps a pan flute in his sack

He’d search until he found,

Someone who’d stop and listen to his sound.


Perhaps he warbled words of love,

Ill-fated love or lost,

Or of the fairest maidens to be found;

He had no pen or paper,

Words and tunes kept in his head,

No way of ever writing them all down.


He may have sung a ballad

Or rhapsodized the king,

When the harvest had been very good that year,

He may have followed crusades

Or perhaps a caravan,

The troubadours had little they could fear.


Years turn into centuries

And though the landscape’s changed,

Poets and their poetry remain,

Pan flutes and lyres and dulcimers

Gave way to finer things

But words of love and lovers lost,

Still are much the same.


Sandra Lee Smith Originally posted February 6, 2009/updated June 6, 2018


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