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Soul of the Celts-The Place To Post Your Celtic Poetry!

Our first set of poems comes from Caitlin McKnelly.If you want to have your Celtic poetry published here then send it to us at seanchaidh@rocketmail.com!

The Legend of Ethna the Bride

In the hall of the Mountain King the harper tells his tale Of the wonders of a maiden,the woman with burning hair A Lily of Erin fair wed to a Connacht knight Stolen by the Sidhe to dance away the night

Her lover,he did grieve her,give her up he would not To the barrow he went riding,at the Great Hall he did knock Entreating the Mountain King,his plea before him he did lay To return his love to him before the end of the day.

So the maid was returned to her husband,she seemed none the worse for harm She came out of the barrow and into her lover's waiting arms. But a kirtle of gold and silver was bound about her waist Her gaze was blank, her eyes unseeing, stared out of her face

Her lover he did mourn her, he knew not what to do The Lily was returned to him but he grieved for her anew. Until the day he was riding, out hunting the hart and deer A fairy voice came tinkling,tinkling.. it whispered in his ear.

"Your Lily, she still dances in the Hall of the Mountain King, He returned to you her body, but to him he makes her soul cling. The kirtle wrapped around her makes him all that she can see But do exactly as I tell you and you can win for her release."

"Unknot the kirtle from her body, be careful not to break a thread. Burn it in pure fire, scatter the ashes round her bed. Take the pin that's in the kirtle and bury it in good earth Do these things and she'll return to the knight that shows his worth."

Now hearing these words to her side he sped, did exactly as he was told. With trembling hands he undid the knots, too frightened to go bold. With unseeing eyes she watched him burn the kirtle upon the hearth But with the last bit of earth tamped down on the pin, to her eyes returned her heart.

That night she danced in her lover's hall for the first time in a year The harper wrote the ballad that all might the story hear Of a knight so bold and a love so strong for a woman with burning hair That the might of the Sidhe was challenged for the Lily of Erin fair

Sea Lullaby

Listen to the sea wind, my darling Let your wee heart have rest Sleep the sleep of the angels Lay your little head on my breast

The nets are the tools of your daddy's trade He sails on the morning tide But for now the curach is on the shore Tonight he sleeps at my side

Tomorrow the ocean will cradle him The sea will rock his bed The wind will be his companion And there he will lay his head

And you, my love, will follow him To the ocean you will give your heart The sea will be your lover And never will you be apart

So lay in your cradle, little darling Sleep warm by the fire tonight Dream that the ocean rocks you Your daddy leaves with the morning light

The Mark of the Bard

The old one lay in stillness, hands crossed upon his breast The young ones came to see him, peaceful in his rest No more the music came from him, no more the laughing gale No more the fire of passion in a quiet winter's tale.

Then a young one rose from his place and he began to sing His hands were quick and agile, making the harp strings ring. The music then poured out of him, remembering the old bard's life He sang of honor and of faith, he sang of truth and light.

Then the pipes wailed out, their lament filling the hall The music of sorrow crying, filling the hearts of all One by one they came to him, the last sight of him in this world Each hand that touched, each tear that dropped, a memory of a heart stilled.

But know ye all this truth, forever the bard's music lives on It beats in the hearts of those hearing it and they pass it in their own song. So mourn not the death of the passing Bard, nor give up his ghost to the end But bend your ear to the music and hear his heart on the wind.

Gaelic Translations from Irish

Sidhe-the fairy folk pronounced "shee"

Curach-a small boat used for fishing


This is a new section called Soul of the Celts in which you can submit your own Celtic inspired poetry or songs.

You retain all rights to your work as is our usual policy and you will be given credit for the work you submit.

Limit 4 poems per person,first submit first posted,1 MB space for entire section.

Send all submissions to
seanchaidh@rocketmail.com