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The Marriage of Lugus and Rosmerta

In ancient days when the world was young
the land herself sought out her king. 
She called out to the tribes to send 
forth all their best and noblest.

In bouts of skill and strength and word 
did each compete and each excel, 
but in the end one man arose 
and stood apart from all the rest.

His eyes shone clear, his shoulders broad, 
but gentle was his temprament. 
Of kingly bearing he was made; 
there was no question here of that.

His name was Lugus, Giant's Bane, 
his strength and honor unsurpassed; 
he knew the many arts of man 
and worked them all with skillful hand.

The land, Rosmerta, called him near 
and held aloft a cup of mead. 
"This cup," she said, "is all my love, 
and in it find your sovereignty."

His hands reached forth and grasped the cup; 
Rosmerta, though, did not let go 
and held the cup firm in her hands: 
"There is one thing before you drink."

"The people first approve their king, 
by their consent his rule is whole, 
for he serves them for all his days, 
and should he fail, they'll have his head."

And to the people she called out, 
"The land rejects an unjust king: 
Will you hold to this mighty oath?" 
And how do th'folk respond to her?
  (the folk: "We do!")

And to the people she called out, 
"And if your king should be unjust, 
then do you swear to throw him out?" 
And how do th'folk respond to her?
  (the folk: "We do!")

And to the people she called out, 
"Do you, dear people, love the land, 
and do you hold my honor bright?" 
And how do th'folk respond to her?
  (the folk: "We do!")

Rosmerta now released the cup 
and Lugus drank the mead so sweet. 
The Land had found her champion, 
and the people had found a king.

Hail to Lugus, the rightful king! 
Hail to Rosmerta who chose him! 
Hail to the folk who give him leave, 
and ever have power o're him!

-June 2007

Written for the Three Cranes Grove, ADF, 2007 Summer Solstice ritual, this poem was written more as the script for a play than anything else. While the poem was recited, actors portrayed the parts of Lugus and Rosmerta (and a few warriors). It was designed mostly to simply tell the story (as best as can be reconstructed). Special thanks are in order to Mary Jones, whose Celtic Encyclpedia is ever useful, and to Ariotanos, whose Outline of Neo-Gaulish Religion and Culture (v. 7) continues to inform a lot of my ideas about working Gaulish religion.


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