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A chant of Names

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  • sunshinegirl
    I ve been sending this to some of my other lists, so thought I d send it to this one.... history: Late last thursday I was braiding my hair into a
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 24, 2003
      I've been sending this to some of my other lists, so thought I'd send it to
      this one....
      history: Late last thursday I was braiding my hair into a mulititude of
      braids, to prepare for a demo. As I was braiding, the following started
      rolling into my mind. Even after I finished, it was rolling in my mind.
      So about 2 am Friday morning, I started writing it down - after I got the
      first two names written, my Muse let me go to sleep, and I finished it when
      I woke up....hope you enjoy it...and if it seems to be of a particular
      style, please let me know - when the muse dictates, I but record....

      Chant of names
      Melandra of the Woods
      Feb 21, 2003

      Let the names be bound to me, as I bind my hair...
      such names as we no longer recall
      let them be remembered this once
      let them stay alive and green in our memories
      long, long years ago it was that they lived
      long ago were their great deeds done
      now all is dust - their bones, their swords, their great and mighty works
      gone are the bards that sang their praises
      their names are all but gone
      Let the names be bound to me, as I bind my hair
      in nine plaits is my hair bound, so let each plait bear a name

      Let not Findabair be forgotten - Findabair, pale as moonlight,
      golden haired as the sun.
      Findabair, pawn of her mother, Maeve,
      Findabair, who died a death beyond reckoning,
      died for the falseness of her mother.

      Let us not forget Maeve, queen,
      Seeker of the Bull of Cuailgne.
      Queen of Coughnaght,
      wife of nine kings
      She the one to whom young men
      would go at night, and return from her
      in the morning, aged.
      It was through her pride and stubborness
      that many of the flower of manhood
      were cut off untimely.
      Let us not forget the name of Maeve.

      Let not the name of Finn mac Cumhal be forgotten.
      Finn, whose thumb had the wisdom of all the earth and heavens
      Finn, who gnawed upon his thumb to know what
      occurred in the heavens and the earth.
      And Let not the name of Oogna be forgotten.
      Oogna, one of his wives, the wife of Finn, Finn of the wise thumb
      For the wisdom of the thumb led him to consult
      his wife Oogna in the time of his greatest fear,
      and she saved him from disaster.

      Let not the name of Macha be forgotten,
      Macha, who became as a mortal,
      wed with a mortal man, bore him children,
      and when forced to race the kings horses,
      so near childbirth, with none to aid her
      or plead her cause, Macha of the curses,
      Macha, who laid the curse of childbirth upon
      the men of Ulster, for 9 generations,
      that when enemies were apon them,
      they should lie abed with childbirth pains
      for five days.
      Let us not forget the name of Macha

      As I plait my hair, let us not forget the name of Emer
      Emer, lovely, Emer, fair
      Emer with the six gifts of good women -
      the gift of beauty, the gift of voice
      the gift of sweet speech, the gift of needlework
      the gift of wisdom, the gift of chastity.
      Emer, who spoke in riddles,
      yet Cuchulain understood her riddles,
      fulfilled her desires, and took her to wife.
      let us not forget the riddles of Emer,
      and the tasks Cuchulain undertook to
      win the plains and noble yoke of Emer

      Let us not forget Cuchulain,
      boy warrior that he was,
      divine and human mixed,
      when the curse of Macha laid low
      all the men of Ulster,
      It was Cuchulain alone who
      held back the armies of Maeve
      until the curse should pass.

      As my hair is plaited, let us not forget
      the sorrows of Ireland.
      let us not forget Derdriu of the sorrows.
      Derdriu, prophesied at birth to bring
      great beauty, and great sorrow to the kingdom
      Derdriu, who gave up a king's love and kingdom
      for the love of Naoise.
      Derdriu, who at the death of her beloved,
      would not allow a king's love and kingdom
      to comfort her, but dashed herself upon a stone
      after mourning a year for the loss of her love.
      let us not forget the name of Derdriu.

      And let us not forget the name of Conchobar.
      Conchobar mac Nessa, King of Ulster,
      who, for his love of Derdriu, broke his own pledge
      and had her love slain,
      which caused pain and hardship,
      death and mourning, to the men
      and women of Ulster.
      Conchobar, who carried a brain ball in his head,
      sewn into place with golden thread.
      Conchobar, who became the first man
      of his land to die for the white God, Christus.
      let us not forget the name of Conchobar mac Nessa.

      As I have nine plaits in my hair,
      so I have named nine names.
      Let not these names be forgotten.
      and yet - as each plait has three strands,
      and each strand has many hairs,
      so there are many more names.
      Names of great and mighty deeds,
      Names for a telling of another day.
      I charge you all - tell the old tales.
      Let not their names be forgotten...
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