Poetry

Like Rain it Sounded Till it Curved

 

Like Rain it sounded till it curved
And then I new ’twas Wind –
It walked as wet as any Wave
But swept as dry as sand –
When it had pushed itself away
To some remotest Plain
A coming as of Hosts was heard
It filled the Wells, it pleased the Pools
It warbled in the Road –
It pulled the spigot from the Hills
And let the Floods abroad –
It loosened acres, lifted seas
The sites of Centres stirred
Then like Elijah rode away
Upon a Wheel of Cloud.

~by Emily Dickinson

Cold Iron

“Gold is for the mistress — silver for the maid —
Copper for the craftsman cunning at his trade.”
“Good!” said the Baron, sitting in his hall,
“But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of them all.”

So he made rebellion ‘gainst the King his liege,
Camped before his citadel and summoned it to siege.
“Nay!” said the cannoneer on the castle wall,
“But Iron — Cold Iron — shall be master of you all!”

Woe for the Baron and his knights so strong,
When the cruel cannon-balls laid ’em all along;
He was taken prisoner, he was cast in thrall,
And Iron — Cold Iron — was master of it all!

Yet his King spake kindly (ah, how kind a Lord!)
“What if I release thee now and give thee back thy sword?”
“Nay!” said the Baron, “mock not at my fall,
For Iron — Cold Iron — is master of men all.”

“Tears are for the craven, prayers are for the clown —
Halters for the silly neck that cannot keep a crown.”
“As my loss is grievous, so my hope is small,
For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

Yet his King made answer (few such Kings there be!)
“Here is Bread and here is Wine — sit and sup with me.
Eat and drink in Mary’s Name, the whiles I do recall
How Iron — Cold Iron — can be master of men all!”

He took the Wine and blessed it. He blessed and brake the Bread.
With His own Hands He served Them, and presently He said:
“See! These Hands they pierced with nails, outside My city wall,
Show Iron — Cold Iron — to be master of men all.”

“Wounds are for the desperate, blows are for the strong.
Balm and oil for weary hearts all cut and bruised with wrong.
I forgive thy treason — I redeem thy fall —
For Iron — Cold Iron — must be master of men all!”

“Crowns are for the valiant — sceptres for the bold!
Thrones and powers for mighty men who dare to take and hold!”
“Nay!” said the Baron, kneeling in his hall,
“But Iron — Cold Iron — is master of men all!
Iron out of Calvary is master of men all!”

by Rudyard Kipling

Midsummer

Midsummer is here now,
The longest day of the year.
The sun is shining down
And springtime has now flown.
But soon winter will come
…And the battle will be fought again
To place another king
Upon his six-month throne.

~Raymond Buckland

Summer Invocation

Fireflies and summer sun
in circles round
we become as one.
Singing songs at magick’s hour
we bring the winds
and timeless powers.
Turning inward, hand in hand
we dance the hearth
to heal the land.
Standing silent, beneath the sky
we catch the fire
from out God’s eye.
Swaying breathless, beside the sea
we call the Goddess
so mote it be!

~by Trish Telesco

(This can be used as a chant, part of a spiral dance, or to invoke quarters.)

I wish…

I wish I were a raven
on the shoulders of my lord.
I would give him sweet advice
and speak in wisdom’s tongue,
I would fly with Odin
to the edges of the world
and there we’d speak of times gone by
and sing of times to come.

The Pure and Blessed Spirits


In the beginning the immortals
who have their homes on Olympos
created the golden generation of mortal people
These lived in Kronos’ time when he
was the king in heaven.
They lived as if they were gods,
and their hearts free from all sorrow,
by themselves, and without hard work or pain;
no miserable
old age came their way; their hands, their feet
did not alter.
They took their pleasure in festivals,
and lived without troubles.
When they died, it was as if they fell asleep.
All goods were theirs…

Now that the earth has gathered over this generation,
these are called pure and blessed spirits;
they live upon earth,
and are good; they watch over mortal men
and defend them from evil;
they keep watch over lawsuits and hard dealings;
they mantle themselves in dark mist
and wander all over the country;
they bestow wealth; for this right
as of kings was given them…

~Hesiod, Works and Days

Walpurgis Night

Walpurgis Night, the time is right,
The ancient powers awake.
So dance and sing, around the ring,
And Beltane magic make.

Walpurgis Night, Walpurgis Night,
Upon the eve of May,
We’ll merry meet, and summer greet,
For ever and a day.

New life we see, in flower and tree,
And summer comes again.
Be free and fair, like earth and air,
The sunshine and the rain.

Walpurgis Night, Walpurgis Night,
Upon the eve of May,
We’ll merry meet, and summer greet,
For ever and a day.

As magic fire be our desire
To tread the pagan way,
And our true will find and fulfil,
As dawns a brighter day.

Walpurgis Night, Walpurgis Night,
Upon the eve of May,
We’ll merry meet, and summer greet,
For ever and a day.

The pagan powers this night be ours,
Let all the world be free,
And sorrows cast into the past,
And future blessed be!

Walpurgis Night, Walpurgis Night,
Upon the eve of May,
We’ll merry meet, and summer greet,
For ever and a day.

Doreen Valiente

Defeated By Love

The sky was lit
by the splendor of the moon
So powerful
I fell to the ground
Your love
has made me sure
I am ready to forsake
this worldly life
and surrender to the magnificence
of your Being

– Rumi

Mioriţa

Though there are countless whimsical and ghostly tales, Mioriţa is a folklore poem, exclusive to Romania. There are over 1,500 variants of the poem and was conceived in Transylvania. The poem, which was translated into a ballad, is based on an initiation rite and is sung in the form of carols during the winter holidays. It’s cultural significance is that it has been shared among some of the most influential and important people of Romania. Having been translated into over 20 languages, the Mioritic has been the inspiration for countless writers, composers and artists. It is one of the most popular of the four traditional myths of Romanian literature. Here is the translated version:

Mioriţa

Near a low foothill
At Heaven’s doorsill,
Where the trail’s descending
To the plain and ending,

Here three shepherds keep
Their three flocks of sheep,
One, Moldavian,
One, Transylvanian
And one, Vrancean.

Now, the Vrancean
And the Transylvanian
In their thoughts, conniving,
Have laid plans, contriving

At the close of day
To ambush and slay
The Moldavian;

He, the wealthier one,
Had more flocks to keep,
Handsome, long-horned sheep,
Horses, trained and sound,
And the fiercest hounds.

One small ewe-lamb, though,
Dappled gray as tow,
While three full days passed
Bleated loud and fast;
Would not touch the grass.

”Ewe-lamb, dapple-gray,
Muzzled black and gray,
While three full days passed
You bleat loud and fast;
Don’t you like this grass?

Are you too sick to eat,
Little lamb so sweet?”

”Oh my master dear,
Drive the flock out near
That field, dark to view,
Where the grass grows new,
Where there’s shade for you.

”Master, master dear,
Call a large hound near,
A fierce one and fearless,
Strong, loyal and peerless.

The Transylvanian
And the Vrancean
When the daylight’s through
Mean to murder you.”

”Lamb, my little ewe,
If this omen’s true,
If I’m doomed to death
On this tract of heath,

Tell the Vrancean
And Transylvanian
To let my bones lie
Somewhere here close by,

By the sheepfold here
So my flocks are near,
Back of my hut’s grounds
So I’ll hear my hounds.

Tell them what I say:
There, beside me lay
One small pipe of beech
With its soft, sweet speech,

One small pipe of bone
Whit its loving tone,
One of elderwood,
Fiery-tongued and good.

Then the winds that blow
Would play on them so
All my listening sheep
Would draw near and weep
Tears, no blood so deep.

How I met my death,
Tell them not a breath;
Say I could not tarry,
I have gone to marry

A princess – my bride
Is the whole world’s pride.
At my wedding, tell
How a bright star fell,
Sun and moon came down
To hold my bridal crown,

Firs and maple trees
Were my guests; my priests
Were the mountains high;
Fiddlers, birds that fly,
All birds of the sky;
Torchlights, stars on high.

But if you see there,
Should you meet somewhere,
My old mother, little,
With her white wool girdle,
Eyes with their tears flowing,

Over the plains going,
Asking one and all,
Saying to them all,

’Who has ever known,
Who has seen my own
Shepherd fine to see,
Slim as a willow tree,

With his dear face, bright
As the milk-foam, white,
His small mustache, right
As the young wheat’s ear,

With his hair so dear,
Like plumes of the crow
Little eyes that glow
Like the ripe black sloe?’

Ewe-lamb, small and pretty,
For her sake have pity,
Let it just be said
I have gone to wed
A princess most noble
There on Heaven’s door sill.

To that mother, old,
Let it not be told
That a star fell, bright,
For my bridal night;
Firs and maple trees
Were my guests, priests
Were the mountains high;
Fiddlers, birds that fly,
All birds of the sky;
Torchlights, stars on high.”

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