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Bardic Arts

For Lassar fhina (Drink Me Lads)
Margrethe Astrid Ravn
September 13, AS XXXII (1997)

In Esfenn's waters, rushes grow
     a piper's truest friend
They call the soldier to the march
     or broken promise mend
But piper's reeds have another gift
     as Mark of Wales knew well
When truth is hid, or a ghost wind blows
     a tale they have to tell.

     So drink me lads, drink long and deep
          light candles on the main
     Drink me lads to memory
          to Lassar fhina's name.

A bard was called to rally all
     amid the lance and bow,
But not a note could the piper sound
     till wind began to blow,
For then they played a mournful dance
     and spoke "Remember you,
Lassar fhina Ingen Gharbain,
     a maid I think you knew.

"A lass with grace and gentle smile
     with tales for all to hear
And like Red Anne and Mary Reed,
     a pirate without fear.
Within she held a hope so great
     it broke her heart in two;
Her only love, her dying wish
     to fight along with you.

"She fought a battle none could win:
     Death came for her today.
She ne'er had chance to show her scars
     nor claim her prince's pay.
So now I ask for friendship's sake,
     for love and revelry,
Fight well today till setting sun,
     then one more task for me.

"When battle's done and o'er at last
     please raise your glass in toast
But praise not gold, for it's soon gone
     to the pockets of your host;
Drink not to glory or victory,
     for victories soon die;
But drink to Lassar fhina's wish,
     to war's pure battle cry!"

     So drink me lads, drink long and deep
          light candles on the main;
     Drink me lads to memory
          to Lassar fhina's name;
     Drink me lads to her mem'ry
          for Lassar fhina's name.

This piece was written for the Mists Bardic Competition, and was the entry for 'Masterwork'.

"This one truly came to me in the middle of the night. A few months after the death of one of the members of the Leer's (sp?) Lady, Esfenn and Southern Shores held a memorial war combined with a AHA fund-raiser in her memory. The lady in question had died due to a weak heart. At the time, I held the title of Troubadour of Esfenn, and I felt that I should really do something in that role. I tried very hard to come up with something and nothing connected. I resorted to lighting a candle and asking for inspiration, and I got it." -- Margrethe Astrid Ravn

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