Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Freiherr: For Tannon the Barbarian upon Becoming a Baron of the Court

Maister Colyne Stewart, July AS 52 (2017)

PART ONE

Call-bound Vendel chief | Cousin to Gunderic
Fearful of no flame | fell-handed hunter
He who laughs loudly | Hero of northlands
Ring-son of Teiwaz | Render of shields
Soil-rich Hochadel | Slayer of halgeist
Giant of wolf-runs | Keeper of kings


PART TWO

Wild, the wolf is now silver headed,
A coronet resting on barbarous brow,
Noble its bearing now all must avow,
The tril’um grows where its paw has treaded.

The foes of its king its claws have shredded,
The red of its blood has stained snow and bough,
Wild, the wolf is now silver headed,
A coronet resting on barbarous brow.

Its howl is loved or else it’s dreaded,
The wolf ‘gainst foemen cuts through like a plow,
The king, ancient wisdom, calls for it now,
It comes through fields so recently redded,
Wild, the wolf is now silver headed.


NOTES

At War of the Trillium 2017, Tannon was made a Baron of the Court of Quillium and Tangwystl. As Tannon is a barbarian, and Quilliam and Tangwystl are having a Tudor reign, I wanted to tell this tale from both viewpoints. For the barbarian point of view I used old German versification (of so similar to Old English and Old Norse versification) which made use of lines divided into hemistichs by a caesura. Alliteration had to occur between the first stressed syllable in each half-line. A footnoted version of the verse is below:

Call-bound[1] Vendel chief[2] | Cousin to Gunderic[3]
Fearful of no flame[4] | fell-handed hunter[5]
He who laughs loudly[6] | Hero of northlands
Ring-son of Teiwaz[7] | Render of shields
Soil-rich[8] Hochadel[9] | Slayer of halgeist[10]
Giant[11] of wolf-runs[12] | Keeper of kings[13]


For the Tudor point of view I settled on a roundel, which was introduced in France in the 13th century but would have been in use in England in the 16th.  The rondel is a fixed poetic form, a variant of the rondeau, that runs on two rhymes. It usually consisted of thirteen lines with a free meter (though often eight or ten syllables) divided into three stanzas (two quatrains and a quintet), with the first two lines of the first stanza serving as a refrain of the second and third stanzas. The rhyme scheme is therefore ABba abAB abbaB with no rhyme words being repeated. Sometimes the term rondel and rondeau were used interchangeably.




[1] Stating that Tannon will always answer his king’s summons.
[2] Tannon is a “barbarian” which is not a term anyone in period would have applied to themselves. I selected to write from the point of view of the Vandals (an old German tribe considered to be barbarians by the Romans).
[3] Gunderic was a king of the Vandal Kingdom. I am implying that Tannon has at least noble blood, which is now recognized as he is a baron.
[4] The Vandals tended to practice cremation, so I am here saying that Tannon does not fear death.
[5] Tannon is a skilled fighter.
[6] Anyone familiar with Tannon is also familiar with his almost ever present smile and laughter.
[7] Teiwaz was a Germanic god of war. I am implying that Tannon is bound to battle.
[8] The king gave Tannon a jar of dirt. Wherever Tannon spreads that soil is to be his domain.
[9] The Hochadel were noble German houses who ruled sovereign states in the Holy Roman Empire, again alluding to Tannon’s nobility.
[10] A halgeist was a mountain spirit (a salt ghost). Implying that Tannon is brave.
[11] Tannon is a tall man.
[12] Ealdormere.
[13] As a bonded noble, Tannon is now a protector of the Crown.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Emma of Bearhall

Upon the Birth of Emma, daughter of Bjarn and Orlaith
By Maister Colyne Stewart, May AS 52 (2017)

Listen carl | skald come and thane
Of Emma hear | of Ēostre’s get
Eagle-feeder | ancient ageless
Fenrir’s pack mate | proud hound of blood

Bearman’s daughter | Berzerker seed
Maiden mother | maker of weavings
Both iron wrought | bless’d well by Freyja
Within her hall | hale Emma slept

Loath the babe was | leaving naught her bed
Iðunn guardian | implored action
wound-sea born her | Bjarnsdottir
Orlaith’s belov’d | bold northern youth

Tremble Norðri | tales will be sung
Of Emma’s deeds | as ages pass on
Odin written | Jarl’s wyrd one
What force can stand | before bear’s daughter?


Written in fornyrðislag, an Eddic verse form consisting of a 4-line stanza, each line divided by a caesura into two half-lines, which in turn have two accented syllables and two or three unaccented ones. There are six variations of half-lines that could be used. The half-lines are linked together by alliteration, which in case of the first line could fall on one or the other of the stressed syllables, but in the second half-line had to fall on the first stressed syllables. The alliteration of the first half-line was called stuðlar (props), the one in the second half-line höfuðstafr (head-stave). The alliteration is actually an initial rhyme consisting of consonants alliterating with the same consonants, except sk, sp and st, which could be alliterated with themselves, and of a vowel alliterating with any other vowel, as well as with j.

Annotated version follows:

Listen carl[1] | skald[2] come and thegn[3]
Of Emma hear | of Ēostre’s[4] get[5]
Eagle-feeder[6] | ancient ageless
Fenrir’s pack mate[7] | proud hound of blood[8]

Bearman’s daughter[9] | Berzerker[10] seed
Maiden mother[11] | maker of weavings[12]
Both iron wrought[13] | bless’d well by Freyja[14]
Within her hall[15] | hale Emma slept[16]

Loath she was | leaving naught her bed
Iðunn[17] guardian[18] | implored action[19]
wound-sea[20] born her | Bjarnsdottir
Orlaith’s belov’d | bold northern youth

Tremble Norðri[21] | tales will be sung
Of Emma’s deeds | as ages pass on
Odin written | Jarl’s[22] wyrd[23] one[24]
What force can stand | Before bear’s daughter?






[1] A servant or housetroop.
[2] A bard.
[3] A retainer to a king.
[4] Goddess of fertility.
[5] Get as in offspring, brood.
[6] Warrior. Emma was a fighter from the get go.
[7] A wolf. Emma is of Ealdormere, sybmolized by the wolf.
[8] Also a kenning for wolf.
[9] Bjarn, Emma’s father, whose name means ‘bear’.
[10] Norse warriors who wore bearskins. Bjorn is a fighter.
[11] Orlaith, Emma’s mother.
[12] Orlaith is a skilled fabric artist.
[13] Bjarn and Orlath are two of the toughest people I know.
[14] Goddess of Fertility.
[15] Orlaith’s womb.
[16] Emma seemed quite content to stay inside and her birth had to be induced.
[17] Goddess of the young.
[18] “Iðunn guardian” kenning for the doctor.
[19] The birth is induced.
[20] Blood.
[21] Old Norse for the North.
[22] A chief.
[23] Fate.
[24] I’m implying there is much to come for young Emma.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Poems for Marie l’Englois’ Elevation to the Order of the Laurel

By TH Laird Colyne Stewart, Mar AS 51 (2017)

Marie was apprenticed to Master Naon na Chruitire of beloved memory. As Naon could not be at Marie’s elevation, some items of import were chosen to represent him and honour his memory. As each item was brought into court and placed about Marie, the following poems were read. (Please note that the Cloak unfortunately did not make it to the event, so that poem was not read.)

The Harp (Golden Singer)

Well form’d with love by Naon’s hand,
Sings so grand, truth like a dove,
Twin it had, music taken,
Here, awaken, gold coat clad.

Spirit marked, the wood well worn,
Oh in morn, the sound so good,
Echoes still, with harper’s soul,
T’was his goal—strings play when will’d.

The Cloak

Harper’s cloak, weighted with worth,
Mantle, mirth, smudged with camp smoke,
In wolfen keep, hall of hare,
Camp of bear, let listeners weep.

To the learned Lucie left,
Rough heft, the mortal mien shed,
Light so sharp, to night sky fled,
Bright thread, cape for hallow’d  harp.

The Psaltery

String’d psaltery, sweet its sound,
Crowned with notes, fingers flurry,
For nobles played, for decree,
With much glee, it would be bade.

From entrusted Enid on,
To brother, baron, gusted
Sounds so pure, notes oh serene,
In mein and grace, soulful sure.

The Drum (painted bodhran)

Annoint’d skin, with flower seen,
In dark serene, drummer’s grin,
Call spirits wild—come and dance,
By bardist’s trance, beguil’d.

Friendship’s mark, from hand to hand,
Knotwork band, and history’s arc,
Kept in love, held in respect,
Souls affect, here and above.

Notes on the composition

Rannaighheacht mhor (pronounced ron-a’yach voor; great versification) consisted of quatrains made of 7-syllable lines. Two words in each line must alliterate; lines rhymed abab and so forth. The end words rhymed internally in opposite lines of each couplet. The end word of line three rhymes internally with line four. The last word of line four alliterates with the previous word. Rannaighheacht (pronounced ron-a’yach; “versification”) were a bruilingeacht version of dán direach (that is to say they used a simpler rhyme scheme than regular dán direach). All versions of rannaigheacht made use of dunadh. Dúnadh (conclusion) is when a poem began and ended on the same sound (the same letter, word or syllable).  It can also refer to chain rhyme where the last syllable of one line rhymes with the first syllable of the next.

Each poem is shown again below with alliteration marked in bold and rhymes in italic.

The Harp (Golden Singer)

Well form’d with love by Naon’s hand[1],
Sings so grand, truth like a dove,
Twin it had, music taken,[2]
Here, awaken, gold coat clad.[3]

Spirit marked, the wood well worn,[4]
Oh in morn, the sound so good,
Echoes still, with harper’s soul,
T’was his goal—strings play when will’d.[5]

The Cloak

Harper’s cloak, weighted with worth,
Mantle, mirth, smudged with camp smoke,
In wolfen keep[6], hall of hare[7],
Camp of bear[8], let listeners weep.

To the learned Lucie left[9],
Rough heft, the mortal mien shed,
Light so sharp, to night sky fled,
Bright thread, cape for hallow’d  harp.

The Psaltery

String’d psaltery[10], sweet its sound,
Crowned with notes, fingers flurry,
For nobles played, for decree,
With much glee, it would be bade.

From entrusted Enid[11] on,
To brother, baron[12], gusted
Sounds so pure, notes oh serene,
In mein and grace, soulful sure.

The Drum (painted bodhran)

Annoint’d skin, with flower seen[13],
In dark serene[14], drummer’s grin,
Call spirits wildcome and dance,
By bardist’s trance, beguil’d.

Friendship’s mark, from hand to hand[15],
Knotwork band, and history’s arc,
Kept in love, held in respect,
Souls affect, here and above.




[1] The harp, Golden Singer was made by Naon.
[2] At the end of each day that Naon worked on this harp, a friend of his at the time snuck into the shop and duplicated his work, thus building essentially a clone of Golden Singer. This “stolen” twin apparently does not have as good a sound as Naon’s work.
[3] Naon built the harp originally for another musician. When she could no longer play, she returned it into his keeping. He was surprised to find that she had spray painted it gold to emulate the golden harp of mythology. Contrary to his expectations, he found that the paint improved the instrument’s sound rather than detracting from it. Thus he dubbed it Golden Singer.
[4] Naon played this harp so often that his arms rubbed off the paint and you can see their marks on the wood.
[5] Sometimes this harp will sound for no apparent reason.
[6] Naon was once Bard of Ealdormere.
[7] Naon was also once Bard of Skraeling Althing.
[8] And he was once Bard of Septentria.
[9] The cloak was left to the keeping of Lady Lucie Pelletierre. Lucie was Naon’s friend and former PhD advisor.
[10] Like the harp, Naon made the psaltery (a stringed instrument similar to a dulcimer).
[11] The psaltery was, for many years, in the keeping of Dame Enid Aurelia, the first Baroness of Skraeling Althing.
[12] It was then passed on to Baron Duncan, Naon’s friend and one time roommate.
[13] The drum skin is painted with knotwork and a trillium.
[14] The paint apparently glows in the dark.
[15] The drum was given into the keeping of Dame TSivia bas Tamara v’Amberview.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Rozakii Poem of Colyne Stewart

For Duchess Kaylah the Cheerful upon her Elevation to the Order of the Pelican
By TH Laird Colyne Stewart, Feb AS 51 (2017)

Serving is a calling            sloth is retreating before it          ·
Study of noblesse            the serious woman is knowing


Based on “The Mongolian Poem of Muhammad al-Samarqandi” (1290s), which, in English, reads:

Knowledge is an ocean, the jewel retreats before it, the law of knowledge, the wise man knows

In the original Mongolian, the poem consists of four verses. The first, third and fourth verses alliterated with other. As well, the verb endings repeated in the first, second and fourth verses. I have imitated this by alliterating the letter S (the fact that the second verse also alliterates is either an added bonus or a failure on my part to adhere to the original) and by having three verbs ending in “ing”. The only punctuation in the original was a single dot between the first two verses and the last two (which I have also done).

Just as the original poet (who was Persian) wrote of a culture other than his own, do I write of a household not my own (which also allows me to mimic the original poem’s title).

Sources


De Rachewiltz, Igor. “The Mongolian Poem of Muhammad al-Samarqandī ,” Central Asiatic Journal,
Vol. 12, No. 4 (1969), pp. 280-285, Published by: Harrassowitz Verlag. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41926793


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Kalenda Martius

For THL Marie l’Englois upon her elevation to the Order of the Laurel
By TH Laird Colyne Stewart, February AS 51 (2017)

This month will see awe
When at Faire, all a draw,
This lady will kneel at feet of law,
Her voice without flaw.
Woven from rough straw
Music, like gold, flows forth from her jaw;
The iciest hearts her tunes can thaw,
Emotions, felt deeply, and so raw.
All in awe,
See no flaw,
Her place her foretold by ka.
Like owl claw,
I here draw,
Dame Marie, I have estampida.



Based on the 14th century estampida “Kalenda Maya” by Raimbaut de Vaqueiras. The original poem was six stanzas long (each with identical structure) but as estampida are mono-rhyme poems I only wrote one stanza. (Italian has a lot more words that rhyme than English, making recreating Italian poetic forms in English a challenge.) You may notice that I did repeat a few of my rhyming words, but even with the glut of possible Italian words to choose from Raimbaut sometimes repeated words himself. (So I don’t feel as bad about that.) I based the structure of my stanza on the structure of Raimbaut’s. The last line also directly reflects the last line of the original which states: “N'Engles, ai l'estampida.” [Dame Engles, I have the estampida.]

Below is a version of the poem with footnotes.

This month will see awe[1]
When at Faire[2], all a draw,
This lady will kneel at feet of law[3],
Her voice without flaw.
Woven from rough straw
Music, like gold, flows forth from her jaw[4];
The iciest hearts her tunes can thaw,
Emotions, felt deeply, and so raw.
All in awe,
See no flaw,
Her place her foretold by ka[5].
Like owl claw[6],
I here draw[7],
Dame Marie, I have estampida.




[1] The title refers to the first of March, as it is in March 2017 that. Marie will be elevated.
[2] The elevation will occur at Kingdom A&S.
[3] Referring to kneeling at the feet of Their Majesties.
[4] Marie is being made a Laurel for her knowledge of Medieval music. I here draw attention specifically to her singing, likening it to Rumpelstiltskin’s ability to weave gold from straw.
[5] Ka is an Egyptian term for part of the soul.
[6] The owl is the bird of wisdom, as Laurels are supposed to be wise as well as learned.
[7] As in I am drawing (or writing) the poem.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Praise of Kaylah

(Upon being named a Vigilant of the Order of Defense)
By TH Laird Colyne Stewart, Feb AS 51 (2017)

Let me eloquently praise in rhymes
The might of worthy skill
That with sword can foe-blood spill.
Your frame, adorned in chosen pink,
Through the battle seen to slink,
Weapons ring the foes like chimes.
Kaylah, Rozak, you fight like fire
Consuming wood; you drink
In joy in field or shire,
Until you’ve had your fill.
Axe-adorned, most dire,
In the press you find your thrill,
Your smile seen by all.
Monarchs now demand you
Take on burden, kneel until
A collar drapes you. On the hill
And in the lists where renown grew
Teach and fight on ever higher
In your heart be held not thrall
Except to honour. Now with wink
Of defence be you master now
Never from the call to shrink.



Based on “The Praise of Mahākāla,” a Mongolian Buddhist poem written by Choiji Odser around 1305. I have tried to emulate the rhyme scheme of the first twenty-two lines as closely as possible.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

And scarlet red his flag

TH Laird Colyne Stewart, December AS 51 (2016)

Winter white the prince’s horse,
And scarlet red his flag,
Dimpled snow belied his course,
‘Cross the heather and the gorse,
And scarlet red his flag.
His lance askew, tipping down,
And scarlet red his flag,
Tattered crest upon his crown,
Jupon stained with ruddy brown,
And scarlet red his flag.
Holes in armour gaping large,
And scarlet red his flag,
Scabbard empty of its charge,
Lost with spear and royal targe,
And scarlet red his flag.
Falling, quiet, into snow,
And scarlet red his flag,
Never now his love to know,
Left to die a death so slow,
And scarlet red his flag.