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Bardic Arts

A Ghazal for Queen Bryne

by
Siobhán ní hEodhusa
March Crown (March), 2000 (AS XXXIV)

I asked the Nightengale, who surely knows
Among them all, which is the fairest rose
He answered me with sighing and complaint
He only loves the one about to close

Under your eye, O Sun, which blooms most sweet?
The brightest, most abundant ones he chose
But I found something lacking in his choice
I was unmoved, for all their splendid shows

O Dawn Wind, bring me answer, I beseech!
And faithfully he carried to my nose
The gentle message of the rose herself –
At length, I sought, and found whence it arose

‘Tis she most surely armed with many thorns
Defying any heavy-handed foes
So pale and fair, with faintest blush suffused,
Beyond the garden wall, in wilds she grows!
The wise distiller prizes her o’er all
‘Tis she whose essence through the limbeck flows

          The thorniest rose is sweetest, O my soul…
          What does this signify, do you suppose?


"Written for Queen Bryne, March Crown 2000 - she is no mean archer herself!" -- Siobhán ní hEodhusa


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