The Day King Edgar came to Bath

I like the four line ballad form. It is useful for narratives.  I have many narratives to finish in the time that I have left.

Edgar at Bath (Whit Sunday A.D.973)

Besides the west door in a crowd
Frigar watched Edgar pass,
The sky was blue save one small cloud
As priests there call the mass.

That cloud it seemed to hover there
Like one small shade of doubt,
With happy faces everywhere
What could this be about?

The boy stood and gazed at the sky
Beneath that cloud so grey.
His heart heaved and he gave a sigh,
Then wept and walked away.

He wandered out across the town,
Went out the River gate.
Beneath an alder tree swooned down
Mid visions brought from Fate.

It seemed an ancient Dame was there,
Or was she but a maid?
There seemed all havoc everywhere,
Then silence in a glade.

And in that glade a woman stood
Her face a radiant glow.
“You’ll witness hate and great falsehood,
And you will be laid low.

Amongst the dead you’ll find new life,
You’d fight a soldier’s fight.
You’d never win through arms and strife;
At end you’ll conquer spite.

You’ll seek out joy through times all sad,
You’ll help a broken man.
You’ll comfort both the wan and sad,
You’ll do the best you can.

You are a part of my moist land,
You are my joyful boy.
The dark cloud showed you what’s at hand
Mid those crowds full of joy.

For you alone gazed at the sky
And saw that cloud all grey,
And you alone had pondered why,
Wept on this joyous day.

In sad days you will see the spite
That makes so many weep,
And you’ll see Wrong defeat the Right.
Watch wolves tear through the sheep.

You’ll help a mutilated man
Though his life may prove hard.
You’ll help the way a true friend can
Help him tell of Midgard”.

She held his hand that puzzled child,
She walked him through that glade,
She showed him things so strange and wild,
Then slowly seemed to fade…

What’s real and what’s a dream?
His brain it spun about
Is ought as it may seem?
The boy let out a shout…

“Dear Lady, Lady, tell me more,
Please do not fade away!
Pray do not leave me drenched with doubt,
Do tell me more I pray.”

Her voice remained though she had gone,
She said, “I’ll tell you true
And when you’re glad and when you’re wan,
Do know that I’m with you.

Spirits stood by when you were born,
It seems I am your one.
I’ll see that you’ll not stay forlorn,
When dark foul deeds are done.

Your heart it is a songster’s heart,
I’ll help you with each song
But now my sweet I will depart
You must my boy be strong”…

What’s a dream and what is real?
Now he seemed more sure.
A Spirit’s presence few may feel;
That holds this sweet allure…

He felt some rain upon his face
Beneath that alder bough.
It seemed he’d slept here in this place
Yet seemed not sleepy now.

There was a strange scent on the air,
A scent like womankind.
It seemed about him everywhere,
Was it just in his mind?

That rain dropped from a light blue sky,
That one small cloud was gone.
He fought against the urge to cry,
But his soul had turned wan.

In Bath that day the folk were glad,
The English had one king.
None saw that one boy oh, so sad,
The poor bedraggled thing.

For these strange visions left him weak
And sick throughout the day.
He sat about all sad, all bleak,
Yet watched the gleemen play.

They acted out some simple tale
As laughter echoed out.
Unseen a child stood drab and pale,
His soul was filled with doubt.

Then on the morrow they returned,
Back down the old Fosse Way.
He told his father what he’d learned
In Bath just yesterday.

He told his father of his dream,
And they spoke much of it.
But neither knew what Norns may scheme,
Nor knew what had been writ.

His father told him of Modron,
The day that he was born.
That this Midgard would soon be gone,
With futures so forlorn.

Though one would live to great old age,
The other was soon dead,
To leave a boy to grieve and rage;
That grief led on to dread.

Their household then was brought quite low,
His mother she grew ill.
Once happy homes may sink with woe,
As warmth may turn to chill.

That road through grief would twist and turn,
To travel there takes strength.
Through sorrows then the young may learn,
And gain through them at length.

From “Tale of Frigar”
© T Morgan 2007

Celandine

Lesser Celandines

“The celandine’s in flower again
It’s early days of spring
The cycle starts again once more
Ah, hear the blackbird sing

The winding path beside the stream
White clouds sail slowly by
All’s still just like some sort of dream
And yet she had to cry

Once more life’s cycle is renewed
Once more false hope is here
Like just another calm prelude
For villainy is near

These yellow petals growing bright
The Celandine seems sweet
And whilst they’re pleasing as a sight
All love is in retreat”

Hazel

Over the last decade and more I have watched a small hazel grow into a lovely well formed tree.  It has been worth the wait.  It carried its first few nuts last year.  It inspired this:-

 

Hazels

A Hazel nut that fell last fall
Was sprouting on that hill
Mid stones from some old tumbling wall
Where soil had lost its chill.

Its verdant leaves could get full sun,
Good fast growth could be made.
Before too many years were done
Folk would enjoy their shade.

A hazel switch might well be used
To chastise man or boy,
Though sweetest things might be abused
Where they ought bring great joy.

Resiliently will Hazels grow,
Despite big Oaks and shade,
As they seek out the Sun’s sweet glow
Around each wood and glade.

A Holly bush it grew there too,
Was green throughout the year
And close by was a bank of rue,
That herb grows lush round here.

This Hazel bent in mighty gales
That tore down Oak and Ash.
It witnessed many dreadful ails,
Saw ancient houses crash.

It watched the fickleness of Fates.
It lived long in folklore.
And as each passing storm abates
It springs back straight once more.

© T Morgan 15.2.2016

 

Whirligig of change

How unpredictable are events!

Whirligig of change

There’s a series of things,
A sequence of events
That flows from cause to consequence.
They can be put straight down to chance
Or blamed upon mere happenstance
And some may say with sad laments
That Satan set the circumstance.
Although we’re vexed, well, maybe
From chaos and complexity,
About the way that things may go
And where they’ll lead us who can know.
As consequence becomes new cause
Events flow on without a pause;
For they seem linked like endless chain
That rattles along and past again.
As in a gapless, seamless dance
We’re driven on by hapless chance.
A whirligig of spirals flow
And where they’ll take us
Who can know?
Yes – there’s a series of things
A chain of events
That runs ‘tween cause and consequence…

© T Morgan, 1st May 2002, revised 2016

Fundemental nonsense

Debate can be a waste of breath

Fundamentalists

Now fundamental Zealots will
Cause folly and cause shocks.
Believing in creation still
They argue with old rocks.

They say all fossils have been formed
In just ten thousand years.
As well as methods too unsound;
They’ve stuffed wax in their ears.

All fossils in the rock and mud,
Those dinosaurs and birds,
Were caused by only that one flood;
They won’t be swayed by words.

Geologists should all beware
Religious zeal and ire.
Zealots with their glassy stare
May burn them in a fire!

© Trevor Morgan 17 October 2003

Back to the twelth century

There are some who look back through their tinted glasses and imagine some good old days or even a golden age. They seem to wish for an illusion. There are the few today who would be part of an oligarchy. Perhaps this is because they are effective at the acquisition of wealth and so they think they would be effective as rulers of the whole world.

Dark Pages

The gibbet and the rope
The blood soaked block, the axe
With kings who conquer Hope
How can our kind relax?

The blood that’s on the ground
The poison in the cup
With all of this around
Oh, come now, do drink up

The hate that will not pass
The blood that’s left a stain
More will be and surpass
The past with all it’s pain

The strong who do not care
With so much spite and hate
Indifferent they stare
Is all this down to fate?

The gibbet and the rope
More blood drips from the sword
The thugs that kill all hope
It’s throttled with their cord

The power of the few
May well be turned on each
In this there’s nothing new
Good times are out of reach

from Aelfread and Gudrum (2003)