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General Bardic Studies for Liturgists 1: Requirement 1

Write two poems of at least 16 lines each appropriate for performance at a High Day ritual. One poem may be in free-verse form, but one must employ some form of meter and/or rhyme. Note in each case for which High Day the poem is intended.

"Samonios" is the Gaulish word for "Samhain," and "Giamonios" is the Gaulish word for "Beltaine."

The first employs general iambs arranged in a pentameter. Note the ABAB rhyme scheme in this poem. Our Grove usually sets Cernunnos as our patron of that rite, so this is to him.

1. Samonios

It is in you that the opposites meet
The balance of light and dark is no more.
The winter has come, fast and harsh, the heat
has left the world, and chilled it to the core.
The leaves, they fall and crinkle underfoot,
the sky cold grey, and nights they grow longer;
the tree's lost its sap, dug in with its root,
as first snows do fall, winter grows stronger.
Our hearth-fires burning, vig'rous at night
provide us with warmth, dispelling the cold.
Even in winter the world is alight
with all that we are: the brave and the bold.
Cernunnos, lord of liminality,
sit in our doorway, hold the worlds apart
accept from us this hospitality,
as we offer to the gods with our art.

The second also uses an rhyme scheme, but it's looser than the first poem's. Also, there's no meter, other than limiting the lines to 8 syllables. Belenus and Sirona were the patrons of our last Beltaine rite, and so this was designed for them.

2. Giamonios

Belenos who shines above us
Sirona who wells from below
within us each your blessings meet
as into us your powers flow.
Drinking deep from shining waters
warming ourselves with light above
we stand before this godly pair,
and feel fulfilled with all their love.
Sunlight filtering from above
Waters flowing cool from the earth
between these two we stand complete
standing solidly, full of worth.
Within us mingle two powers:
Light shining on the waters now.
Love is made in leafy bowers
god and goddess showing us how.


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