Of Councils Called
of those age-old athelings of Elfhome we've heard:
Say where in the gathering that granddame Gambara,
mothersmith's marvel, more fame than all, sat
when she, the Sidhe's seidhr-shrieker, let loose
ribbons of rapture, and ran down the line
of the aettar of elves, and their awe-engraved past,
running rapid, like the river in rush, past
this moment's hollow in present, the people there gathered,
to sorrow tarry in the trust of prophetesses' sad
revelations, there unfolded the folk's future, in true
yet salt-searing tears, in the silent hush of hall.
Up on the altar, all could see her
speak in the center, and say her wise words ; why
all were assembled in that echoing chamber
none knew not, not even men, in days long gone :
the Winter! that woe of the world, bring famine
and loss, losing crops, long snows, and freeze
past time for the temperance of spring's true charm,
and her sons, those smiths, so celebrated 'fore,
innocence uncertain for spells of dark hue
were cast in the cry of croaking envy, while
none could nullify their well-known fame,
nor loathe their loyalty, love of land, what --
some wondered, whispering words
of doubt, did those druids in darkness chant?
Whisper, rasp, in the regal room,
of shame and shock at the shirk of filial
piety plunged and pulverized there, the sons
make shrift short of the sure and old ways,
advise, a vice, of vicious rede:
the old and young in cold cast out
to freeze in the frost, so the food might meet
the meckle of men whose might was proven.
Would Gods grant luck to guards such as these?
More than men's words, the mother was honored.
Up against her atheling offspring rose she,
rose, and roused the roiling
fire that fumed in the folk's secret coffers.
The old are our elders, she elegant spoke,
yet grave, with the gravity and grandness
of priestesshood she'd proven to the people,
let no loyal lover of our folk
advise the vice of villain exile
to elders and all of our elven children, rather :
let the men of might make way,
and gather their goods, going forth from the land,
leading their lineage from local homes out
whereever in world their welcome awaits,
leaving food, in this famine, to feed the needy.
For there are none amongst us in this narrow, long hall
who ever would open his mouth against elders, tis sin
and strike out the shame of sons sinful, by send,
sending them forth to find their far fate. Find it!
Crowds will come, a ragtag caravan,
torn, tattered, travailed by frost and hunger.
None will know thy noble birth
in the far-off foreign lands you flee to :
for quite some time, the Queen's folk shrouded
under cloak, under cowl, under care and woe, out
blending blood in the blizzard's haze
with strangers, strange tribes, strangled memories,
the horrid hordes, the hunger ; with men
you'll make your mates in days come :
the soft, beaming light of your lineage bled
henceforth in veins where dark thoughts grow.
Washed in the whirlpool of the welcoming tribes
your seed absorbed in the silence of their genes :
it is men who will make thee their mighty forebears,
princely pride in their peerless ancients
who gave their gift of goodly talent,
blood, and bright light, that was borne of the sun
and send it spiralling into the scions of men.
Wyrd speaks this wergild, for Winter's cost.
so go, go off now, and grab what dignity
remains for you men of might and squander,
for long days loathing now lay at hand,
and half-mortal, with men, you'll be made
in the melee and combats that come in the cold,
coming nights. Nobility lies in knowing
how to hold one's head in the fog and in exile.
What frith you can find, be faithful to it.
More in this moment, the mother would not
speak in her spiel, for the spell was now cast.
And all gave assent, so they sent off the men
of might who had made themselves marvels
of elves, once in the wonder-times we've woeful forgot:
but proud princes, they proved, and gathered up muster,
spilled out from these cold springs with spirit and valor,
clashed with kings in dire combat,
left their legends in the loins of women
high-bred and haughty, and holding good grace.
You might see their spirits shimmer
in the eyes of an artist, or the gaze of the graceful.
In the hearts of the noble they now have their homes.