A Farewell (Lyrics: Alfred, Lord Tennyson)


 

Flow down, cold rivulet, to the sea,

Thy tribute wave deliver:

No more by thee my steps shall be,

For ever and for ever.


 

Flow, softly flow, by lawn and lea,

A rivulet then a river:

Nowhere by thee my steps shall be

For ever and for ever.


 

But here will sigh thine alder tree

And here thine aspen shiver;

And here by thee will hum the bee,

For ever and for ever.


 

A thousand suns will stream on thee,

A thousand moons will quiver;

But not by thee my steps shall be,

For ever and for ever.


 


 

White Sow (Lyrics: J. Micale)

Mother, I can feel your heartbeat

Take me to your shadowed breast

Mother, I can feel your heartbeat

Take me to your shadowed breast

Take me in and spit me out

Oh white sow, oh white sow

Mother, I can feel you hunt me

Take me to your shadowed breast

Claw and feather, tooth and talon,

Take me to your shadowed breast.

Take me in and spit me out

Oh white sow, oh white sow

Mother, I can feel you catch me,

Take me to your shadowed breast.

Torn with claw and tooth and talon

In the deep of your shadowed breast.

Take me in and spit me out

Oh white sow, oh white sow

Mother, I can feel you boiling

In the heat of your shadowed breast

Bubbling, thrusting, upward rising

In the heat of your shadowed breast.

Take me in and spit me out

Oh white sow, oh white sow

Mother, I can feel you birthing

Thrusting me from your shadowed breast

Spear of light and upward rising

Parted again from your shadowed breast.

Take me in and spit me out

Oh white sow, oh white sow


 

Teach Duinn (Lyrics: J.Micale)

Donn, the dark one, the brown one, hue of the Earth! Donn, the dark one, first of the Sons of Mil! First ancestor, first one to tread and tend Death's halls, you who entered the Otherworld through the waters of the southwest so soon after sighting Eriu. Donn, dark one, brown one, hue of the Earth! You who welcome us at the Western Isle of Teach Duinn as we make our passage from this life to the next. Father whose halls make room for all the mighty hosts, in whose house we rest at the end of our life-journey, be welcome, welcome and thrice welcome!


 

Songs of Experience (Lyrics: William Blake)

Hear the voice of the Bard,

Who present, past, and future, sees;

Whose ears have heard

The Holy Word

That walk'd among the ancient trees;


 

Calling the lapsèd soul,

And weeping in the evening dew;

That might control

The starry pole,

And fallen, fallen light renew!


 

'O Earth, O Earth, return!

Arise from out the dewy grass!

Night is worn,

And the morn

Rises from the slumbrous mass.


 

'Turn away no more;

Why wilt thou turn away?

The starry floor,

The watery shore,

 


 

Is given thee till the break of day.'


 

Chorus: Cruelty has a human heart

and jealousy a human face

terror, the human form divine

and secrecy, the human dress.

The Human Dress is forged Iron

The Human form a fiery Forge,

The Human Face, a Furnace seal'd

The Human Heart, its hungry Gorge.


 

Auguries of Innocence (Lyrics: William Blake)

Chant: To see a world in a grain of sand,

And a heaven in a wild flower,

Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,

And eternity in an hour.

The spoken word portion is from Blake's Proverbs of Hell.

 

The Tyger (Lyrics: William Blake)

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,

In the forests of the night;

What immortal hand or eye,

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?


 

In what distant deeps or skies.

Burnt the fire of thine eyes?

On what wings dare he aspire?

What the hand, dare seize the fire?


 

And what shoulder, & what art,

Could twist the sinews of thy heart?

And when thy heart began to beat,

What dread hand? & what dread feet?


 

What the hammer? what the chain,

In what furnace was thy brain?

What the anvil? what dread grasp,

Dare its deadly terrors clasp!


 

When the stars threw down their spears

And water'd heaven with their tears:

Did he smile his work to see?

Did he who made the Lamb make thee?


 

Tyger Tyger burning bright,

In the forests of the night:

What immortal hand or eye,

Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

 

The spoken word portion is from Blake's Proverbs of Hell.

 

Midnight invocation (Lyrics: J. Micale)

Come, night. Shake out your cloak of stars

as the green edges into blue

and distance sleeps under silver

and shadow. Come night! Tarry not.


 

The owls howl wild, their wings silent

over the bending of the grass.

Hungry paws pad last year’s leaves, watch!

And wait, and wait. A nose twitching


 

the plume of a red tail hidden,

a mercenary’s crest. Come night!

Hunter and hunted waltz, lovers

close in a dance that spans all life.


 

But come inside, then, for a spell.

The candles gutter, pool their wax

in the dish. Feet tangle the sheets

and fingers weave and dance slow, close,


 

to the rattle of katydids

and the fiddle of the crickets

the drums of frogs plucked from lilies

in the pond that mirrors the moon.


 

Midnight is the time for lovers

and philosophers, for mothers

looking in from the door frame, for

fathers standing guard against dreams,


 

for stargazers marking a course

so vast that flesh loses meaning

and mountains crumble into dust.

The sleepers sit out the wonder.


 

Over the blown roses, then, look:

Night dances, an art of beauty

and slaughter, veiled in the hidden

then stolen by the greedy dawn.


 

Snowflakes (Lyrics: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow)

Out of the bosom of the Air,

Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,

Over the woodlands brown and bare,

Over the harvest-fields forsaken,

Silent, and soft, and slow

Descends the snow.


 

Even as our cloudy fancies take

Suddenly shape in some divine expression,

Even as the troubled heart doth make

In the white countenance confession,

The troubled sky reveals

The grief it feels.


 

This is the poem of the air,

Slowly in silent syllables recorded;

This is the secret of despair,

Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,

Now whispered and revealed

To wood and field.


 

The Jealousy of Emer (Lyrics: J. Micale)

Where are you going, your white hand knife-ready?

Steal away, come away, come and take what is yours:

your tears in the sea and lost in the eddy


 

the gray of the waves, your feet on the jetty

Steal away, come away, come and take what is yours.

Where are you going, your white hand knife-ready?


 

The red of your heart’s blood the tale does not carry.

Steal away, come away, come and take what is yours:

your tears in the sea and lost in the eddy


 

The wind twists your hair but your pale grip is steady.

Steal away, come away, come and take what is yours:

Where are you going, your white hand knife-ready?


 

And she lets him go in the face of your fury.

Steal away, come away, come and take what is yours:

Where are you going, your white hand knife-ready?

 

your tears in the sea and lost in the eddy

 

Invocation at the Western Gate (Lyrics: J. Micale)

Remember. Sew together the edges of what was lost for a shroud, a bridal veil, a blanket for a newborn.

Old prayers blow in gray boughs by the well-edge, clooties, banners of causes unremembered. The Old Mother sews them together into a quilt of the unspoken. The figures of broken clay she knits together under the wave.

Remember. Sew together the edges of what was lost for a shroud, a bridal veil, a blanket for a newborn.

Bubbling forth, the spring from the deep, the tear from the eye, the blood from the wound. Salt on the tongue, it gathers to itself, flows forth, flows forth, rivulet and wave.

The voices of the dead are our voices. They echo from that sea isle, as the cattle of Tethra leap from the wave. They wait on that far isle, arms reaching and whole, in the sunset that is sunrise, the harvest that is a sowing.

Remember. Sew together the edges of what was lost for a shroud, a bridal veil, a blanket for a newborn.

a gray dusk and the wind stirs the dunes. gulls dance wave-side as a bobbing child collects shells. an old man writes with his feet on the shore as he remembers Niamh, the white horse, the breaking saddle.

unseen, the lights of Murias glitter through the gloom on the farthest shore. a coracle climbs the waves, in reaching toward and forward, betwixt and beyond. a song waits, a cauldron, a full belly, a cup of truth.

The voices of the dead are our voices.

Remember. Sew together the edges of what was lost for a shroud, a bridal veil, a blanket for a newborn.

 

A prayer for the hours before dawn (Lyrics: J. Micale)

In the moon just past fullness, a crescent pared from its belly, remember you are blessed.

In the white of night when none sleep, remember you are blessed.

When the owls call out the small creatures, driven by fear from the leaves, remember you are blessed.

When the veil wreathes the pockmarked face in a pale halo, remember you are blessed.

When the coyotes keen on the ridge and the hounds reply, remember you are blessed.

When the deer amble in their feast and hunger, remember you are blessed.

When marshlights dance at the crossroads, remember you are blessed.

When Midhir measures time in his pale hand and age beckons in the black curve of space, remember you are blessed.

 

When the stars are lost in dawn’s haze, remember you are blessed.


 

A prayer to Brighid in times of violence (Lyrics: J. Micale)

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Bring peace to those who hear the crack of thunder from a gun in a place of refuge, who see the sunlight glint off its barrel.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Bring peace to those where shots are as common as the cries of sparrows, where each step on the crumbling walk is taken with held breath and a prayer half-believed.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Bring peace to those who put the softness of their own flesh and the strength of their bone in the path of the bullet or the blade.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Bring peace to those with the swift feet or the limping, who flee pain to preserve life.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Bring peace to those sheeted in red, the wellspring of their blood spilling words and meaning on the ground.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Bring peace to those whose bodies are unmarred, but whose minds bear the scars of their witness.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Bring peace to those who stand confused on the shores of the Sunless Sea, their lives the unplucked apples of the Western Isle, their farewells and jokes and love notes unsaid, unsent.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Bring peace to those whose tears bear the barge to the Otherworld, who hold memories in shaking hands and hearts webbed with cracks.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Bring peace to those who knit limbs, who tend to souls and hearts, who offer the bread of comfort and the milk of nurturance.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Bring peace to those who bear witness, who share the words of truth and so drive off the black wings of silence and its carrion crow with their telling.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Bring peace to those who fire the gun and loft the grenade, to those that maim and those that kill, so that the fire of their rage is quenched in your well’s sweet waters.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Let your waters pour out with the peace of the singing brook scattering sunlight, the peace of the roaring white-maned sea, the peace of the drumming rain and the lake ringed with reeds.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Let your waters knit wounds and quell the blaze of rage, of pain, the starless deep of despair and the gray slate of indifference.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

Let us swim in your healing waters until we know that we are all enfolded in the same sea, that we are the sea itself, the sea coursing through the salt of our tears and of our blood, turned sweet by your palms into the deep well of compassion.

Brighid, Lady of Healing, fill us with your peace.

 

A Bhrigid, scar os mo chionn do bhrat fionn dom anacal.

 


 

 

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