Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Hart’s Tale

By THLaird Colyne Stewart, October AS 50 (2015)

To my belt-sister, Wencenedl of Rokesburg, the first Arrochar apprentice to be invited to join the Order of the Laurel.

At Emprise gathered hushed host
To listen to the heralds’ toast
As king and baron took their seat
And called the Laurels forth to greet
A hart who wore the ermine star
A student come so very far
“Our Cenedl,” the king decreed
“You will from contract now be freed
At future date, once all agreed.”
And smiled on her where she kneed.

She went then from that honoured place
Accompanied by Kerrec Grace
And heard proclaim the gathered crowd
Who shouted forth their joy so loud.
Until at last the day came ‘round
To hear what answer she had found
Again she came to royal ground
Before the northern monarchs crowned.

“Our lands are lacking”, cried the queen,
Before those gathered on the green,
“We must amend this tragic flaw
And so we read this writ as law
And call on Cenedl the doe
Well known to all for skills she shows
With needle, thread and fabric bright
Compel us to take pen and write,
Induct her into order fair,
The dragonfly with braided hair
And be a Laurel of our lands.
So take now from the royal hands
Our document that states thereof
How rich you are in regal love.”

She takes the writ from royal glove
And so my sister soars above.

Written in the style of a Breton lai. Lais (or lays), popular in both French and English literature, were short rhymed tales of love and chivalry usually numbering between 600 and 1000 lines. They often involve motifs from the supernatural and Celtic mythology. Arthurian tales were popular. The earliest Breton lais known were by Marie de France and were written in the 1170s.