Kingdom Arms by Robin of Thornwood Calligraphy by Robin of Thornwood Populous Badge by Robin of Thornwood

Bardic Arts

On The Bard's Medallion

by
Siobhán ní hEodhusa
Beltane (April 29), 2000 (AS XXXIV)

The oak leaf crown, it is a weighty thing
As heavy to the hand as to the brow
The wearing of it marks a man a king
And more to it than to that man we bow
Or rather, to the thing it signifies:
The realm sustaining us, which we sustain.
That kingdom wherein all this labor lies
‘Tis true the crown is glory, aye, and pain
but Baldwin has long since sung that refrain.

But of this badge, there are no songs to sing
Its heft in hand is evident enow,
And did you think it heavier on a string
Than neck could bear, in comfort anyhow
You would be right. To wear it is a strain,
But more than may be visible to eyes
Because of all it might and must contain.
It is awarded and indeed a prize -
A year has taught me what more it implies

To wear it o’er my hearts to feel it wring
That heart of all its hoard of song e’en now
To wear it on my shoulder is to sting
My arm and hand to work under its vow.
And to my mind that ever seeks and tries
To gather tunes and speech as hands would grain
It offers neither crutch nor compromise
Nor easy solace, nor simplistic gain
But fire on the tongue, and in the brain.

And what the years to come may to it bring,
There’s none can tell – and yet I will allow
I feel those years as strong as anything,
And all the force those years may yet endow.
The first must strive, in any enterprise –
Of all this, I have no cause to complain.
I only hope that in the Kingdom’s eyes
These twelve months since its geas I came to gain
I’ve borne it well, and brought to it no stain.


"Written in response to Jade’s chaffing me for not wearing the medallion during March Crown! After the Troubaritz Garsenda, 29 April 2000)." -- Siobhán ní hEodhusa


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