There once journeyed a fair mousemaid
Whose name was like a bell,
She sailed to'ard the badger's mount
And they called her Mariel.
A captive of a corsair foul
And thrown among the waves,
A rope meant to take her life
From a gull her life did save.
And so Gullwhacker fought the toads,
With the mountain hares she fled,
From Pakatugg she ran away,
To meet Tarquin instead.
At last she made it to Redwall,
And heard a poem said,
Then Mariel, the Little Belle,
To'ard Terramort then sped.
Tarquin, too, her singing friend
And hedgehog Durry Quill,
And Dandin, kin of Gonff, with
Sword in paw, by Martin's will.
Past the Otter and his Wife
The carvings in the stone,
Past Flitchaye and mute lizards to
Safety in Bobbo's home.
With Dandin, she fought the lobster
For the swallow's guide
The group sailed on the Greenfang
At the turning of the tide.
When the boat did fin'ly anchor in
The Isle of Terramort,
Her father, Joseph, she did meet
In the slave's underground fort.
The Wild she confronted with
Dandin and the Badger Lord,
But Gabool fell by the scorpion,
Instead of by the sword.
Her task was done, so she returned,
With family, friends, and all
The bell, her father's work, was giv'n
To the goodbeasts at Redwall.
But Mariel, the Wandr'ing Belle,
Was always meant to roam,
She left her rope, for friendship's hope,
And with Dandin, left her home.
But still the stone of Redwall keeps
The mem'ry of the Belle,
For though they named their gift "Joseph,"
It's cry is "Mariel!"
Normally, I'm not much of a poetry person, but this is the exception. A couple years ago, The Sentinels of Mossflower had a poetry contest during the summer, with the prompt "Write a poem about your favorite Redwall book." And, of course, Mariel of Redwall was my favorite, so I thought over it a bit, and then the verbal connection between "Belle" and "Bellmaker" hit me. Voila! My first ballad-length poem was written.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines "belle" as "a beautiful woman." When writing this, I had that definition in mind, not the stereotype of the Southern Belle (whom Mariel might just want to smack). Sorry for any confusion on that point.