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Bardic Arts

The Flame
Padráig Donn Mc Mathúna
Twelfth Night, AS XXXIII (January 2, 1999)
(On the occasion of Duke Frederick of Holland’s admission into the Order of the Laurel)

So the age of innocence waned, chivalry was dead.
Lo, within some, a spark remained; burning on.
Ten twice then and more the souls who on those embers blew,
Then flame kindled: chivalry new rising as in yore.

Sought they out sleeping dreamers, sparks placed they in their heads.
Brought they about an infant, marked by courage long gone.
Years pass, those who have o’er babe watched smile as it stands too.
Tears of joy shed as the Dream touched dreamers by the score.

Orders, noble, grew as the Dream matured it is said.
O’er growing Kingdoms, those esteemed as Peers, to them drawn;
Knight, Pelican and Laurel all versed in knowledge true.
Bright rises sun after vigil kept all night before.

Now this new day sees the newest Peer in worn path tread.
Brow to bear a laurel crown best not to rest upon,
Duty to teach follows reward, a task never through;
To pass the flame of knowledge hard-won, to pass down lore.

Sage of the crystal, King from sunrise to where it’s fled.
Pages can’t hold the deeds you’ve done; the times that are gone.
This day Frederick is a Laurel, an honor long due.
This day this Bard shall mark it well, to sing evermore.

"This piece was in honor of Duke Frederick's Laurel ceremony. Unfortunately, I came down with a very nasty case of flu and was confined to my bed at the 12th Night event when this happened. I will forever regret missing this event and curse the virus that caused my absence. Many thousand thanks to Siobhan ni hEodhusa for graciously presenting this piece to His Grace in my stead. A couple of thousand to Macha ni Fhearghuis for delivering the poem to Siobhan. Each line has 13 syllables; each stanza begins with rhyming couplets ending in a rhyme scheme of A-B-C-D. There is some unstructured internal rhyming and alliteration as well as the ever-present imagery." -- Padráig Donn Mc Mathúna

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