The Celts: Masters of Song

Ancient Celtic Druid or Bard with Lyre

Early Celtic bards were trained by the Druids.  Their training was difficult with memory and accuracy of story and form was constantly being tested. The poets were imaginative, intelligent as well as gifted. The Celtic language possessed a natural rhythm and rhyme filled with alliteration and consonance that enhanced the beauty of their poetry.  Their work, like so much of the Celtic heritage, was an oral tradition that was later copied by Christians.  The first example of Celtic poetry was, according to the oral tradition, written by Amergin, a Milesian poet who came to Ireland hundreds of years before Christ. A short prayer and blessing follow. 

Celtic poetry features evocative imagery and reveal a worldview different from the Christian/Western traditional one.  While there are Christian elements in Celtic culture, it is also the foundation for neo-pagans rituals and traditional witchcraft.  To read more Celtic poetry and songs check out http://www.thepoetsgarret.com/celtic1.html.

The Mystery 

I am the wind that breathes upon the sea

I am the wave of the ocean

I am the murmur of the billows

I am the ox of the seven combats

I am the vulture upon the rocks

I am a beam of the sun

I am the fairest of plants

I am a wild boar in valour

I am a salmon in the water

I am a lake in the plain

I am a word of science

I am the point of the lance of battle

I am the God who created in the head the fire

Who is it who throws light into the meeting on the mountain?

Who announces the ages of the moon?

Who teaches the place where couches the sun? (If not I?)

A Celtic Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face.

May the rain fall soft upon your field,

And until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand.

A Celtic Prayer
Deep peace of the running waves to you.

Deep peace of the flowing air to you.

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.

Deep peace of the shining stars to you.

Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.

Tomorrow, The Saxons & their Mythology  Rita Bay

2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Celts: Masters of Song

  1. I’ve always loved the poetry of the Irish people. The “Irish” Blessing has long been a fovorite.

    There’s another line that has been tagged on over the course of the years (and dependent on how many pints have been lifted in local pubs! lol) that adds the phrase “and may you be in Heaven half an hour before the Devil knows you’re dead”.

    I love your posts, Rita. Simply love them.

    • Love the addition. Unfortunately, most of what is calld Celtic is predominantly Irish. Caesar when he conquered Gaul and the governors who followed him intentionally sought to destoy Celtic culture. The same thing happened with Britain. Only Ireland, what is now Scotland, and Wales (to a lesser extent) were able to maintain their culture. As a matter of fact some of what has been believed to be Irish may have been Pictish. And then there’s the Vikings. Rita Bay

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