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Bardic Arts

Faith to the Wounded King

Siobhán ní hEodhusa
May, 1999 (AS XXXIV)

Lift up your heads, ye gates of my soul
That I may send forth an envoy of praise,
With my fidelity born as a scroll
And riding a palfrey of my lays’
Banners unfurl! Sound trumpet and drum!
The bull reigns on high, the May Day is come
So must I lift up my voice and sing
Of when I swore faith to the Wounded King

On this day, marked in history’s role
A kingdom was founded in elder days
On this day rises the ribbon-crowned pole
And luck visits houses with hawthorn sprays
The summer waxes, shadows succumb
With jingling the Morris greets all and some
For me, this day the mem’ry will bring
Of when I swore faith to the Wounded King

Great is the May, the minstrels’ parole
As sung all along the old straight ways
Great was my joy, per fusing the whole
When my brow was crowned with the poets’ bays
The blessing balefire catches life from
The hearts of the people who kindle, fulsome
My heart caught fire in me, wondering
When I swore my faith to the Wounded King

Festival day that all folk extol
Awakening joy while the bonfires blaze;
Yet on my festival day, clouds stole
The welcoming fire of the solar rays
Damp was the weather and wearisome,
And many were those who scampered for home
Yet forth from clouds the sun did spring
For when I swore faith to the Wounded King

Now I am done; Someone pass the brown bowl!
Good ale stirs the heart as the thirst allays
Thus shall I serve my geas and my goal
As long as my throat my will obeys
Fabian, through you I am as I’ve become
To you I drink in ale, uisge or rum!
Beltaine I’ll bless in thanksgiving
For when I swore faith to the Wounded King

‘Rondeau telling of my Laurel ceremony, written as a competition piece for the Bard of the West competition.’ -- Siobhán ní hEodhusa

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