Laid These Lays Down to Allay Misfortune
laid these lays down to allay misfortunes
that in the turns of fate inevitable come
with melancholy and whist, yet tales
have transformings that turn fate's turnings
in mind so hearts find comforts, and thus
the poetic arts were given to console
so much as to inspire: grief at times
may be soothed and softened with song.
Well knew the Gods what grief
each birth brings with all its joys
yet in living the good strive, with bold,
cheer may the high heart of courage gain,
just as all brave Gods will. So they implanted
these seeds in the human heart for he
or she who would grow them. An active life,
a life rising to challenge, a life defies
inordinate fear that timid stills the will,
that life finds purpose, even through the pain.
Let a man live reverence, by walking in awe,
yielding each thing its true worth, whether
in work or at play, at home or abroad,
and the unspeakable holiness of wholeness
shall be upon each. Thus the Gods ordain.
Let she who would profit well water
those seeds given long ago to trees.
Or would you weep in poverty when life's
strikes come unexpected, your heart
untrained by song or deeds to meet
the might of strong bale on the road?
Then you would wish for a hoard
of songs and boasts that might mete
you meet the woe with courage
and resolve matured by long years' training.
That your brag might be you looked
with stout heart into eyes that come
uncertain from time's awesome fogs,
unflinching, or, flinched, as most men
might, up-gathered valor and forward
went despite, fireside tales of heroes
in desperate plight support your peril.
Let an earth's child drink potent mead
and ponder what knots bind debt in tangles
that trip the forward-going feet, and slowly,
with will and patience, undo each knot
and free oneself from unwilled legacies
of misfortune passed down in terrible
accident and misery. So a man might rise.
Redeem his kinfolk through valor and wit.
Let no man moan when he might roar instead.
The Gods do not hear whimpers. Let fade
whimpers once wounds licked, and mind's defiance
find again in rede to root out the unvictory,
together gathering arms to challenge odds ill
dealt out, and refind roaring. This they hear.
This they wish to hear, because they love.
One slanders holy givers to be weaker than
one's actual strength, so use the living muscle.
Your acres may be small, but they are
your acres, so choose garden or wasteland
what you will, they would have you treasure-
add to world in whatever small way you might.