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Bardic Arts

The Lover of Lord Eithras

Siobhán ní hEodhusa
January, 1984 (AS XVIII)

Lord Eithras lay in his first sleep;
     In furs and linens white slept he.
About the dead hour of the night
     There came to him a fair lady.

The lady sat at his bedside --
     Of silver all her rich array --
If e'er fair ladies he had seen
     The fairest was this Lady gay.

"Oh Lady," quote Lord Eithras bold,
     "Will you tell what your business be?"
"Oh Man," quote she, to his delight,
     "My business here, it is with thee."

"Oh Lady," quote Lord Eithras then,
     "Will you not tell me your name?"
"A thousand names have I," quote she;
     "Use what you will -- all are the same."

She has drawn off her clothing fine,
     And ta'en him by the earth-brown hand;
Her flesh was pale as Winter moon,
     Her thews as strong as any man's.

She has drawn back the covers all,
     Upon her breast she's pulled him down;
All in her soft and strong embrace
     Both joy and pain Lord Eithras found.

"Oh Lady," laughed Lord Eithras then,
     "I fear that you have laid me low."
"Oh Man," quote she, "you have the strength;
     "Just once again before I go."

"Oh Lady," groaned Lord Eithras then,
     "You'll have my life with these requests!"
"Oh Man," quote she, "in very truth,
     "I do intend to have no less!"

Lord Eithras woke, in sweat-beads bathed,
     Just at the break of morningtide;
He turned threw drenched linens back,
     And found a sword lay by his side.

© 1984, Leigh Ann Hussey

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