some o the bits I found interesting
I, even I am left,—to cry from the uttermost region, — (Far off isles of the West,—home of the remnant of Dan,) Sown as a thistle on earth is Jacob,—the names of us legion. Tongue of the Hebrew fails,—shall not be spoken of man.
(3) We were five that rode upon asses, and five by the mules they led Whereon were the things brought forth from the House of the Lord when we fled, The stone of Jacob our father, the Seat wherein Yahveh dwells Upon sacred things whereof the Book of the Prophet tells ; And the signs of my father David, on whom was the promise stayed Bright as the crown of the dawn, deep as the midnight shade, Strong as the purpose of God when he fashioned the land from the sea, A hope for the sons of Adam, that the chosen of Him should be A King over men for ever ; yea, unto the Lord’s own day When the land shall be broken in dust, and the sea shall vanish away.
Upon me was that promise fallen. For me was the Prophet’s toil. He had signed me with David’s signet, anointed mine head with oil. He had set mine hands to the harp ; he had bidden me hold the spear ; The buckler was girt to my bosom, and Baruch and he drew near To set my feet upon Bethel, the Stone that is seen this day That my seed may rest upon it where’er it is borne away, And its promise be sure beneath them, strong to uphold their throne. Though the builders cast it aside, it shall never be left alone. These things we did at Taphanes ere we fled to the haven of ships, And the spirit of God came on me ; His promise rose to my lips. I spake, and I bade go forward, and the sons of the Lord obeyed. And the Prophet of God bowed down, and this was the song that I made.
As sunset, and are as the rainbow with jewels out of the mine. Who is he that sitteth amongst you shall raise his eyes to their’-hem. The Queen of the Gates and Nile cometh out of Jerusalem As a sweet fruit ripened in Winter. Hither with her the Stone, — The Stone of the Kingdom cometh. It shall not be left alone Henceforth of her sons for ever. I bid ye prepare her a home Wherein all shall be meet and ready that the feet of the Queen shall come, Yet not ask of me. I am left in Egypt a pillar to be Unto days and lands and peoples, when the Lord bears witness in me.
Telling how David had smitten whilst yet a youth with the flock The giant, mighty in war, with a stone of the brook, a rock The cornerstone of his house : and the shouting “Daouda” grew When he told how the Lord of Hosts descended in flame anew On the Seat that he brought from Kirjath to set in Jerusalem, The Ark, the Holy of Holies, which went with the tents of Shem When Israel came out of Egypt. Sore were the priests of Baal, But the people cried out against them, and praised me that heard this tale, So their wrath kept silence before me, and turning they went again Till we passed the banks of Crofinn, and entered the little plain Wherein the chieftains assembled. An hundred princes and eight Of Eriu waited my coming ; each with his proper state.
page 110 – 111
For his sailors were men of Ham the last whom the Temple veil Shall leave in the dark ; and these that sailed on the western track With the Prophet passed into night, and ne’er out of night came back. Of the sacred things I know not. The Lord stays not to discern The place of His habitation, whereunto my sons shall yearn In the days that dawn hereafter ; but lo, ye have seen the Stone, The Stone of the Corner remaineth. It shall not be left alone. When Jacob knoweth his birthright therein shall his boasting lie, And in many lands and islands my seed shall have praise thereby. There was one beside the Prophet mine eyes were fain to have seen. The morn that I came to Crofinn, I watched for the cloak of green. And the strong straight bard that wore it, as one looks for a trusted friend. Amongst strangers. Perchance he guessed not. Perchance he might not attend.
(2) On the morrow came Bres with Sri to lead me forth to the ring Wherein were the chiefs assembled to hear men cry for a king, But each man envied his fellow, and each with an angered mood Had answered the bards and aires that spake for the common good. My place was set me amongst them, a seat upon Jacob’s Stone Drawn thither by two white heifers, and draped around as a throne With a golden cloth of Zidon. Now, as I was set thereon A cloud drew back in the sky and upon me the bright sun shone, So folk marvelled of me and this sunshine, and thus it was foolish talk That I held the sun at my bidding, setting paths for the clouds to walk
Chapter XV ( I )
page 116 – 120
Sri, the son of Ezra, calleth for the bow of Sampson, which is given to Ethdan* son of Bathiam, who shooteth the first arrow unto the Stone of Jacob ; (2) A second arrow is shot, and fndeth the seat of Eochaid Garbh Mac Duach ; (3) Ihe sun betwixt the horns of Baal is smitten by the third arrow, and Sri, the son of Ezru, maketh a psalm, thereon.
(i) Now the priests and chiefs of the land debated a threefold choice And a doubtful, striving greatly, till Sri with a mighty voice Cried, till they heard. ” Not yet is the curse of this kingdom stayed. The sins we have sinned to Baal shall yet at our gates be laid. His arrow hath pointed Bres, it hath fastened his garment’s hem. In the folds of his cloak shall Canaan set fires in the booths of Shem.” These things cried Sri the silent ere shaping his theme anew
A finger of sinew to armbreadth of yew, but at last it sprung To the cleft with a stroke like an axe when it striketh an oaken beam, Whilst the flesh upon Ethdan’s arms sank like waves on a stream. Then swift to the circle’s centre he sped him and laid him down. Setting his feet to the yew-mast. In a moment the shaft had flown Straight into air till we lost it, and then in a little space Straight out of heaven it descended like a beam of the sun on the place That was mine, the Stone of Israel, yet hurt not the Stone at all For the head’s soft gold spread forth a sun at the arrow’s fall On the greywhite pillar of Jacob ; and joy upon all men came When they saw the altar of Bethel alight with that golden flame : And the priests of the gods bowed down, and covered each man his face ;
* Breasal Ethadan Mac Eochaid Bosthlaim—too long for verse.
He said “the arrows of Baal seek sunset or fall askew. Seek we shafts that are truer. Is there not in our midst the bow Of strength, the shafts of the mighty? Where Dan goeth to and fro The bow of his judge is with him, It dwelleth amongst us here. The merchants of Gath and Japho draw back at its name of fear. Have we never a champion of Dan who may string its strength to his will ? Is the spirit of Sampson weak to speed the shafts of it still?” Then Ethdan the son of Boethlam thrust through the ranks of Dan, Of all the sons of the island this was the broadest man Of shoulder and girth of limb, if somewhat slow of his feet. He called for the bow of the mighty, and straining back from my seat He bent it. Mighty the string wherewith that bow must be strung.
And the chiefs of Eriu moved in wonder before that place ; And Httle they spake, but set me thereon ; and lo, I had grace to speak In their tongue, and my heart was great, though my voice was little and weak. “Ye Chiefs of this island, hear me. The might of the Lord is known In shadow, but light is rising, and grace to a handmaid shown Who watched and prayed in the darkness. He leadeth her by His ford To sit in a fair green pasture, with sheepfolds and oxen stored. A shepherd was David my father. God gave him a charge to keep Which he brake not, to feed His cattle and sever the goats from the sheep. Me, that am David’s daughter, he maketh a shepherdess Who amongst the sheep of Eriu shall know none greater or less. The sun that descended hither shall be as a light divine
Whereby to search in your pastures, and know my sheep from the swine, For the unclean beast is with you.” Then Sri that stood at my side, Passed up the banks and turning, to all the people he cried, ” The Queen of the East hath spoken. Is there one her word to gainsay ? Let him dwell with the swine, for God hath sent us a Queen this day.” Then Tuirbhi the smith sprang forward to catch at Sri by the arm. But Sri smote straight upon him and wrought him a deed of harm. For he fell by the banks on his ancle, and his craftsmen bore him away, And his leeches bound him badly, and lame he went from that day.
Eriu wiki Eriu = Eire ~ Ireland