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Bardic Arts

Padráig Donn Mc Mathúna
Mists Spring Coronet, AS XXXIII
For William and Maren
(I used kennings based on Celtic Mythology)

Harken now, all within the Hall.
This day I greet thee, Hear my words.
I Hail thee Hallowed, grey veiled land.
I, that Winged Harp twofold did win.

Blessed are you Her face to Behold.
Grace and Beauty are Her virtues.
Fair as the Face of Lugh is She.
Forthright Princess of the cloaked lands.

Mæren, with blazing Metal stands.
Maid of the long arm, fierce in war.
Mæren reaps well Macha’s acorns.
Swiftly She wields Morrigan’s cane.

Always is She Art’s champion.
Ardent defender of beauty.
Cian’s Gift to Ogma’s child Gave.
Gilded prize to the honeyed tongued.

Dauntless they that in cloaked lands Dwell.
Honored monarchs Defended you well.
William Bright as Brigid’s sweet gift.
Joy of far Tir Na Og He Brings.

By swan’s chains is He Bound to thee.
Battle Prince of true heart and hand.
Morrigan’s reel Fondly He’ll Face.
Fierce, joyful in Magh Turragh’s game.

He Holds the iron leaf aloft.
Loud His cry in Crom Dubh’s test.
More Brave are none ‘neath Balor’s eye.
More Bold are none with acorn scythe.

Arms-Right Rules this white portal land.
Soft green hills Reach to the bay.
Flowers abound in green Fields.
Found profusely, bright they dapple.

Rare are these small Radiant blooms.
Richly hued as Easal’s pillars
Other rare Hues on Hills are seen.
Cumal’s blue and Red of Holly.
From Wild hills the view is Wide.
Winds, salt scented climb to their heights.
Tall Trees of honor crown those hills.
Tireless, gazing o’er Lir’s road.

Danu’s Blessing is here Bestowed.
Beneath Cumal’s dun lies plenty.
Plenty is here in Grape and Grain.
Herds and fowl ward ‘Gainst serpent’s death.

Deep are Coffers of Cian’s rain.
Cauldrons of fish scales and nose price.
Ogma’s Gift is Given to all.
Great the depth of keen, lore steeped, minds.

Halls are built to share Hazelnuts.
Welcome Here for salmon feasting.
Lauded here is wealth in Learning.
Old are houses of honored Lore.

William’s stone of Welcome is broad.
Full the mead cup, Warm the bard’s seat.
Shares He Well the Wealth abounding.
His Words are as Cormac’s gold cup.

Mæren hearth price pays, More, none want.
Vigilant Maid, warding guest right.
Shares She the God’s gift of imbas.
Her words are as Ogma’s sweet mead.

‘Round the bright fire’s Roar all praise you.
Brave are both on the Raven’s board.
In Great hall songs are Given you.
High words, like white bronze Glittering.

Raise the cup, filled with Barley’s Blood.
Boldly raise your voice to cheer Them.
Hold aloft - then Drain Gobhinu’s Draught.
You are blessed to Dwell in grey veils.

"At Cynagua Winter investiture A.S. XXXIII, Maren (then Princess of the Mists) approached me and said something to the effect of, "You know ... if certain bards were to show up at Mists' Spring Coronet and do something ... it would make me very happy." How could I possibly refuse Maren? I wanted to do Her and William the honor They so very much deserved. So I thought how would a Celtic bard respond? Certainly he would use a skaldic form, but unless he was familiar with Norse mythology, there's no way he could use their kennings. So..., with help from a certain Norse Skald whom shall remain Torvaldr Torgarson, I devised Celtic Kennings based on a mythology, with which I personally was familiar, as a Celtic bard visiting Norse nobles might have done.

"I consulted with Torvaldr as to which form to use and had him check it. The first and third lines of a stanza had to have two alliterative words and the second and fourth had to have one. The piece required a minimum of lines (Torvaldr could tell you, I've forgotten how many) and I met and exceeded the number. If you're interested, I think I still have the list of kennings I used." -- Padráig Donn Mc Mathúna

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