‘On Tapestry’, The Bulletin, 14 July 1910
Ballad, chivalry, Courtly Love, crusade, E. J. Brady (1869-1952), Holy Land, joust, knight, romance.
This engaging “McCrae-like medieval narrative ballad” (John B. Webb, “A Critical Biography of Edwin James Brady 1869-1952” PhD Thesis, The University of Sydney, 1972, p.95) concerns the fortunes of a triad of ill-starred lovers. On one hand there is brave Sir Maurice, the wealthy and impetuous knight who excels in chivalric conduct but who is tragically slain while crusading in the Holy Land. On the other is the golden-haired Lady Alice, a romantic counterpart for him who naively “vowed [...] Her Lord he’d be”. Unknown to either of these two quixotically tempered day-dreaming protagonists is the real target of Cupid’s dart, the “crow-haired” ladies maid, who recognises from the outset that her suit is hopeless, and who must content herself with plaintive prayers and “A [hasty] daylight glance.” The tragedy of the missed opportunity that is all too often ‘staring you in the face’ is a theme that Brady also favours and highlights in his less accomplished, more light-hearted medievalist poem, ‘On Keira (See: http://ausmed.arts.uwa.edu.au/items/show/1032).’
E. J. Brady
14 July 1910, p.39