Writing Brigit


Writing Brigit

Many years ago I wrote my first Brigit prayer. Poem. Blessing... I have been writing them ever since, but seldom publish them. Some are carefully researched and crafted, some are simple and straight from the heart.

The prayers and blessings of my sisters in the Daughters of the Flame and other Brigit-loving women and men, living and long-dead, fill me with surprise and delight, as well.

I would like to share some of these writings with you.

Following is the one that signs off each of my emails, a reminder to guide my words and intentions with care when I write to anyone. It's as good a place to start as any.


Flame Offering

In the name of the three Brigits

I light the candle of my heart

May I offer it to everyone

gentle and steady

warm and bright



09 September 2021

"Keening" by Daniela Simina

 


Keening,

 

Her gift for posterity,

the undying gift of Bride the Banfile,

power of word endowing

the pain and agony

with immortality.

Inheritance she left for

those to come.

The inheritance of spirit

passed on beyond blood.

Spear struck Ruadan

and without his blood spilled

that deep and powerful voice,

Her voice,

would never had risen.

A mother's grief birthed lamentation,

sacred union of word and sound

wedded by pain to never part again.

Him, left dead, her left alive,

her left to live forever in the heart of each of us

knowingly or unknowingly,

each time someone is keening.

Her gift for posterity,

the undying gift of Bride the Banfile:

the visceral yell erupting from

the soul sliced open,

the soul of a mother

cradling her dead child,

and nevertheless

make that a gift,

a step into immortality.

 

 


 Image: Self Portrait of mother crying for son, by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash

 


14 August 2021

“Feast of St. Brigid - February 1st” by Paddy McCormack

 


“Feast of St. Brigid - February 1st

Oh dear St. Brigid hear our call,
And guard our native isle,
In olden days you spread the light
Of love o’er the soil,
Your mission full of ardent love,
With pleadings did not fall,
And ever shall thy memory live,
As Mary of the Gael. 

How oft you prayed with fervent hope
To save our native land,
The fire of Faith you kindled here,
By a heavenly breeze was fanned,
Thy earthly life our guiding star,
A beacon of light to all
Fond patroness of Erin’s Isle,
You heard the plaintive call. 

Tho’ years have flown O Glorious Saint,
Since you trod the Emerald Isle,
The hills and pleasant valleys,
Seem acalling all the while.
Come dwell again O Brigid true.
Amidst the scenes so fair,
Where first thy virtues flourished
From thy Convent at Kildare. 

The Irish race O faithful Queen,
Shall ever breathe thy name,
With Patrick’s aid Apostle true,
Our land shall rise to fame.
And when all earthly things shall end,
We pray our trials are o’er,
To meet our Glorious Irish Saint,
Yes meet to part no more.
                   
                                        

 

 

Note: “Poem by Paddy McCormack of Kildare Town dedicated to St. Brigid, to commemorate St. Brigid's Day, 1st February. The McCormack family have long been in business in Kildare Town and Paddy McCormack, who was well known for his poems and songs throughout Ireland and the US, is buried in Lackagh Cemetery.” Leinster Leader, 2 February 1941.

Previously published in ‘The Lily of Erin; Saint Brigid,’ by Rev. P. A. Sharkey (New York; 1921), pp. 65-66.

From Leinster Leader, 2 February 1941, republished Grey Abbey Conservation Project, 30 January 2009.

 

Image: Mary of the Gael, uncredited.


21 July 2021

"Three Sisters at Drung Hill (Charm at Lughnasad)” by Mael Brigde

 



Three Sisters at Drung Hill

(Charm at Lughnasa)

 

knees scour on rock

robes scrub thin

inch by inch we climb

 

do not avoid the pebble

do not shun

thorned twig

 

we climb

from foot of shore

to crown of hill

 

here well up

born of ember dropped

from uncharred skirt

 

pure sweet waters

(seen sometimes by chance

never found when sought)

 

glittering eyes dance 

on skimming wet

we circle winking   smiling pool

 

celebrate harvest

cheer fallen corn

kiss fertile ground

 

on earth-rasped

deep devoted

heart sated

 

well enraptured

want-extinguished

knees

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: Inspired by reports in MacNeill, The Festival at Lughnasa, pp. 413, 672, etc.


Image: Yoksel 🌿 Zok of. Moscow, Russia via Unsplash


11 June 2021

“I see You” by Johnny Jeansonne

 


I see You

 

I see You,

In chaos and in peace

There You are,

Never bending.

I see Your face

Like lightning,

Blinding me

If only

For a second.

I hear it,

The pounding of hammers

On hot metal,

The sizzle of sweat

Boiling as it hits the flame.

Oh yes, I hear it.

And I know You,

Sun Woman,

Fiery Arrow,

Sacred Flame.

I’ve known You forever.

I feel Your heart,

Beating and burning so closely

To my own.

And with that I know

I am Yours

 

 

 

By Johnny Jeansonne




 

ImagePhoto by Flash Dantz on Unsplash

08 May 2021

“St. Brigid” by Theresa Brayton

 



St. Brigid

Oh, she was fair as a lily,
And holy as she was fair,
The Virgin Mary of Erin,
Brigid of green Kildare;
She came to earth when the snowdrops
Were starring the rain-drenched sod,
The sweetest blossom among them
From the far-off gardens of God.

And over the haunted mountains
Where Druids still watch and pray
A dawn-wind wakened and whispered:
“Give praise to the Lord today,
For to you a child is given
Whose name in the days to be,
Will flame like a torch eternal
From uttermost sea to sea,
And her life, like a surge of incense
From the alter of your green sod,
Will fashion a stair forever
From Ireland up to God.”

O Brigid, so high and holy!
So strong in womanly grace,
Look down from the sills of Heaven
Today on your olden race.
‘Tis over the world we’re scattered,
And your land is a land of woe,
But we’re holding you as a lodestar
Whatever the roads we know.

For you are our pledge in Heaven,
With Phadrig and Columcille,
For the faith of our foes unbroken
And the hopes that they could not still;
For the surge of our prayers unceasing,
For the depth of our love unpriced.
For our agony in earth’s garden
And our crucifixion with Christ.

And we cry to you, holy Brigid,
‘Tis you have the right to pray
For us and the land of Erin
In the hour of our need today.
We breathe your name as a symbol,
Like the lamp on your alter set,
That God is an unforgetting God
And will stand for our righting yet;
Yea, He, who so long has tried us
In the flame of His purging fire,
Will give to the race of Brigid yet
The crown of their soul’s desire.




Theresa Brayton (1868 - 1943) was a poet and an Irish Republican who participated in the 1916 rebellion. (Kevin Kennedy sings her song, ‘The Old Bog Road.’) Moving to the U.S.A. and marrying a French Canadian, she was well known in Irish American circles.

Poem published in Leinster Leader 2 February 1941, republished on Co. Kildare Online Electronic History Journal, 2 January 2009. 

 

 Image: Photograph of Teresa Brayton in Songs of the Dawn and Irish Ditties, 1913. Public domain..

27 April 2021

Email Subscriptions Ending

  


I am sorry to say that Blogger will no longer be supporting email subscriptions as of July 2021. I do announce new posts on Facebook as they come along, so if you are on that platform, you could follow me there. If you have another idea of how I can continue to offer email alerts, do let me know.

Meanwhile, thank you for your support. 

Brigit's blessings.

Mael Brigde




Image: by Sigmund on Unsplash

05 April 2021

Saint Bride and the Swan, from Carmina Gadelica

 


Every now and then we ask where a certain association of Brigit's arises from. Recently it was the swan. Here is one answer, from Carmina Gadelica, Vol. 1, edited by Alexander Carmichael, in Scottish Gaelic first, and then in English.


       Eala bhan a   ghlugaid bhinn,

   Odhra sgaireach nan ciabh donn,

   Cha ghear thu it as an druim,

   Gu la-bhrath, air bharr nan tonn.

 

Air an ite   bitheadh iad a ghnath

   Mu 'n cuir thu lamhaidh ri do chluais,

   Is bheir Moire mhin-gheal dhut dha gradh,

   Is bheir Bride aluinn dhut dha buar.

 

Chan ith thu   farasg no blianach,

   No aon ian nach leag do lamh,

   Bi-sa taingeil leis an aon-fhear,

   Ge do robh a naodh air snamh.

 

Eala shith   Bhride nan ni,

   Lacha shith Mhoire na sith.

       

 

       The white swan of the sweet gurgle,

   The speckled dun of the brown tuft,

   Thou shalt not cut a feather from their backs,

   Till the doom-day, on the crest of the wave.

 

On the wing be they always

   Ere thou place missile to thine ear,

   And the fair Mary will give thee of her love,

   And the lovely Bride will give thee of her trine.

 

Thou shalt not eat fallen fish nor fallen flesh,

   Nor one bird that thy hand shall not bring down,

   Be thou thankful for the one,

   Though nine should be swimming.

 

The fairy swan of Bride of flocks,

   The fairy duck of Mary of peace.





Image: by Mathias P.R. Reding on Unsplash