Monday, July 9, 2007

Saint Joseph of Carpenters

Saint Joseph guide him well today,
As he works, along his way
Bless his plane and bless his axe,
My husband joined may no saw take.
Protect him well for his sake,
The Lord himself was called a carpenter’s son,
Dwell here with us for thought I fear,
His worn hands are blessed indeed,
Help us both for those you love,
I pray in your spirit, guide him well.


I wrote this for the Woodworker's competition at Bardic this year. I entered not to win but because I really loved the challenge of doing research, finding out period legends of Saint Joseph and getting to go to the library and use lots of different searches to find the material I was looking for. I loved it!

Lineage of Fools

The history of the Fools my friends,
The Fools of the barony
Chosen wise by she who guides us well and sure
And yet it’s said I pity all for the lineage of Fools.

Faris, there was a brother Fool
One of tale and wit
And after him, Gerard there was
Jongler in tradition of old.

Saerelith and Alienor
Halfwits both since they ruled as one,
Sarah the Fool, how well named,
For puns and deeds was her game.

And lastly now of this noble line,
Roiberd, a Fool that makes seven,
If you will deine,
To delight in the Fools

We’ve danced and sung,
It’s been our quest to bring smiles
To our Baroness, if we’ve success
We’ll only try to do it all again.

The history of the Fools my friends,
The Fools of the barony
Chosen wise by she who guides us well and sure
And yet it’s said, I pity all for this, our noble lineage of Fools.

I created this for the Bard of Jararvellir competition at Warriors and Warlords, XIV. It was the only competiting entry on the history of Jararvellir. I wrote about what I knew best.

The Eagle and the Lion

The Eagle and the Lion

The Lord of he Beasts
Met the Lady of the sky
To discuss their estate
Who was greater and why.

“The Eagle” quoth she
“I noble and good—
We fly far from here,
Beyond just the wood.”

“The Lion” he said
“Is brave and strong
Ruler of justice
Righting great wrong

“Your pardon” she said
“If I say
Flight gives me freedom
As I go on my way.

“Nay!” said he
I like where I stand
As far as I can see
This is my land!”

She countered again
“I can see beyond the sea
What is your paltry distance
To an Eagle like me?

The two great foes
Argued onward and on
From one day’s sunset
To another day’s dawn

At last, they grew winded
Stalemated they did cease
In place of “best”
Love did increase.

There must we conclude
That they both did win
For in a year’s time—
A Griffin!

Written by Alienor Hathaway for Bardic Madness 2005 (A.S. 39) --Challenge when animals have a discussion

Last year’s circle

Last year’s circle
A Phoenix in splendor
In the embers of her glory
The moment she soared in the dancing flames
Ghost pirates
Spirit ships
Flickering, fleeing smoke.
The tears, chills and rising call of loud belly laughs
The stars were a little brighter

Let the fire burn brighter
And the voices be stronger
May that fire join this one
To those who no longer sit with us
May sing with us in spirit.

In the fleeting fire
The rising voices
And the Phoenix shall rise again.

I wrote this poem around A.S. 40 in response to a Girl Scout tradition I heard about that includes using the ashes from a previous campfire so that it can be remember in the next.

The Maiden’s Tale

The Maiden’s Tale

Addition to the General Prologue

A Maid there was young and fair
Modest a maiden unbound in hair
The daughter of the Knight’s sworn brother
He was her guardian; she had no other.
She was to be married above her degree
To a Baron much older then she.
Being full pious she feared to be wed
Believing she would be sped
She wore a gown of modest blue
That had a medal of her name saint pinned too.
She was to pray the Saint give her Aid
Thus to Canterbury goes gentle younge Maid.

Here begins the Maiden’s Prologue
“Dear Mistress Agnes” said mine hostes
We have need of a tale from thee now the most
Can you tell a tale as part of our game?
We pray you thou not us disdain.
“By my honre” quothe she
The tales I knowe are those of joy and courtesyie
Those tales I heard at my guardian’s whim
I heard them but to please him.
Alas he wishes me to be wed,
And I myself would rather be dead.
I pray Saint Thomas to take my husband to be
So he may leave this world of misery.
Perhaps instead it should be me
For I love another, lower in degree.
A gallente young man holds my heart
How cruel the fates we must be apart.
But I must a tale to tell,
Your pardon if it is not spoken well.
Yet before the fires grow cold
I will tale my Tale of Tristram and Isolde.

Here begins the Tale of Tristram and Isolde
Tristram was a knight in the service of his uncle-King
He had promised him a boon in anything.
The King desired most Isolde a Princess most fine
But Tristram and she had drank from love-potioned wine
The pair was doomed to love each full strong
Yea thou all knew all was wrong.
Tristram gave up the lady to become his Queen
Bemoaned the old, mean Mark in everything.
The King bestowed honors for bringing his bride
Tristram could not stay, thought he tried.
For a year he was away from her fair face
He weakened for want of her embrace.
He came back to Cornwall to see her again
And heard of a court of the Kings men.
He cut a hazel for which to write
His love for the Queen, his hope and light.
The Queen saw the staff and turned full pale
For she loved Tristram in her heart
And knew at once she did not wish to part.
They did not wish to leave eachother’s compagnye
Time too brief under honeysuckled tree

Tristram had his love won,
But the King Mark learned and they were undone.
King Mark slew Tristram and with his noble last breath
He again spoke of love for Isolde and welcome death.
Isolde held him and gave a last embrace
And died too in the same place.
From hence they were buried a hazel grew
And around it a honeysuckle too
One plant cannot grow alone
So marks their deaths but one stone.
God give them tender mercy pray
For love of another may lead all astray.

Here ends the Maiden’s Tale of Tristram and Isolde

I chose to write a tale about a maiden, a young girl because the tales are lacking in female characters. The Wife of Bath, Nun and Prioress all represent different parts of the medieval society but The Canterbury Tales lacking a female counterpart to the Knight, a knight’s daughter. A Knight’s daughter was my choice because she had enough status to be well educated and it is possible that a well-off Knight would be interested in forming alliances by having his ward marry a Baron. I chose to put the Maiden within the framework of the Knight’s group because she could compliment the Squire, Yoeman and Knight. She would have to travel with escorts so that was an ideal solution.
I chose for my maiden to tell the story of Tristram and Isolde because it is a well-known story of courtly love, second only to Lancelot and Guenevere. Also since my pilgrim is going to be married to a much older Baron as part of an arrange marriage it would suffice for her to tell a romantic story of a young man and young woman who love each other despite the older man Isolde is married too. The thought of loving someone below her status is another part of courtly love where the man gives homage to a lady who has higher status.
Additionally I wanted to have some humor in it and the thought of having a girl being “full pious” who is nonetheless going to pray that her fiancée or herself die was my solas attempt. The tale had to be short but I wanted it to be framed by part of the General Prologue and a Prologue to the tale itself to give the reader an idea of why this particular Pilgrim was telling that kind of tale.

Works Cited
De France, Marie. Translated by Shoaf, Judith P. "Chevrefoil"
1993. .

Bulfinch, T. “The Age of Chivlary.” Doubleday Book. New York.

I wrote this for a Canterbury Tales class, the inevitable "Write your Own Canterbury Tales" contest. I'm proud of it because I used period sources instead of modern counterpoints.



How do I speak of a hero?
When the bards of all times searched for that word.
I am a Poet,
A Musician,
A Bard,
A Warrior,
An Artisan,
A Lady,
A Sister,
A Daughter,
A Friend,
A Fool.
But what of a Hero?

My hero lies within the Maestros,
Who have given me blinders so that I may see.

My hero lies within the spirit of the lands,
When the winter frost warms me.

My hero lies within medicine,
A scientific spiritual embrace.

My hero lies within my family,
The Kin and land one together.

My hero lies within madrigals,
The song in the story.

My hero lies within stories,
A Polaris beacon that has been more then a guide.

My hero lies within sound,
Echoes and voices of the Northlands.

My hero lies within silence,
A discussion between my brothers.

My hero lies within the past,
When I was alone.

My hero lies within the present,
The light that has been given.

My hero lies within the future,
In all I see before me.

My hero lies within myself,
Because I take it all with me.

By Lady Aliénor Hathaway

I wrote this poem for my first ever Bardic entry in a challenge at Boar's Head A.S. 37. The only problem was that I lost my voice and had to have THL Eliane Halevy read it for me.