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Author Topic: The Meed of the Bard  (Read 14214 times)
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Bard Judith
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« on: 17 November 2012, 21:04:48 »

THE MEED OF THE BARD

Composed by the Bard Judith, November, Anno Domini 2012


 

To be a bard requires numerous gifts.

Hear and listen, o folk of the stream and forest.

 

A bard has power: the power of the tongue to wound or heal.

  To scold and castigate the wrongdoer, to reveal iniquity,

  To calm and soothe the downhearted, to bring balm and surcease,

  To rouse and stir the sluggish,

 

A bard’s diatribe may raise boils on the face of the unworthy,

  put steel in the bones of the unsure.

A bard’s lullaby can turn away a wrathful army,

   bring slumber to a fretting babe.

A bard’s ballad is able to birth joy in the hearts of lovers,

   spread happiness before the feet of those long-married.

 

A bard has talent: the gift of the well-turned phrase,

the voice like a lark or ringing church bell, the hands which pluck out notes.

  To make a poem, a song, an epic;

   create a song to please, a ditty to entertain, a chant to praise.

 

A bard’s presence may spark conversation,

    as flint and steel bring a whole bonfire to flame.

A bard’s laughter can make a banquet hall come to life,

    turn up the corners of a sour mouth.

A bard’s words are able to change pathways in the minds of the weary,

    set out a new map for those lost in the dark nights of the soul.

 

To be a bard contains numerous obligations.  

Hear and listen, o folk of the abbey and school.

 

It is to be honest, to have lips of truth and eyes of perception,

  to faithfully wound even a friend, to speak the truth in love.

It is to give generously, to have a heart bubbling over with music even when one is weary,

  a throat full of song when one has sung the livelong day.

It is to be the keeper of the chronicles, the one who writes the tales,

  Records the histories, carries the news.

 

To be a bard is to receive a coinless meed.

Hear and listen, o folk of the world’s wide pathways!

 

A smith is paid in copper coin,  a thane counts down the gold in his coffers,

    a minstrel wears her silver ring,  a scholar takes in the pupils’ fees.

     We craft, we fight, we sing, we write,

      only the torc of thanks held out, only the due of duty.  

What reparation is there for the bard, whose notes must come like a struck harp,

  wil-he, nil-he, making music, bringing peace?

 

Give us a place in the hearthcorner, a bit of land to tend,
    
 a book, a chain taken from your own neck, a hot meal.

We are content

  to be a bard.
« Last Edit: 20 January 2013, 00:03:41 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged

"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #1 on: 18 November 2012, 16:32:01 »

I see our dear Bard's creative juices are still flowing despite the fact that she's officially on her well deserved break :) Looks like a poem like this is part of the bardic introspection then, and it turned out to be another little gem at that, coming right from the heart. A piece of Santharian land is granted for you, our hearths have places reserved, a hot meal is brewing already and our library is full with fabulous tomes to pick from, along with a big "Thank you!" for all your works you've contributed, Judy! grin Aura +1 for this latest piece speaking for he bardic profession! thumbup

P.S. As the piece is Santhariarized already it can also go up on site of course, maybe with a few introductory lines as is customary. And after all it's a piece from the bard for the bard, so the introduction could also directly come from that fabulous Judith of Bardavos. But don't get stressed about it, make enjoying that hot meal on the hearth and reading a book your priority! cool
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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Bard Judith
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« Reply #2 on: 25 November 2012, 08:29:49 »

Not quite on break yet - four more weeks to final exams... but I am certainly in much need of that vacation.  My doctor keeps frowning and 'suggesting' more rest and less stress, hah. 

  This piece was written specifically for the online class 'Way of the Monk, Path of the Artist'  I've just completed at www.abbeyofthearts.com, a spiritual/artistic renewal based on ancient wisdom practices and the Benedictine Rule.  One of the many projects we were challenged to do was to create a sort of 'rule' for ourselves, a poem about how we felt our place in the world worked out, as either a monk or an artist.  Since I so strongly identify with the 'way of the bard' as an artist, I chose to focus specifically on that aspect.   Much of the poem is personal, but Santharia deserved that honesty.  And since I am so steeped in medievalism and the love of language, this is the original poem, without artificial Santharization, just as I offered it to the class forums. 

An introduction specifically for the site should be in character, though, so:

"This poem was written as a personal reflection by Judith of Bardavos, upon the attainment of her third ring.  She shared it with a few fellow bards at the private ceremony of presentation, and was encouraged to make it public to the School of Tunes, as a perfect example of 'the teaching tunes' which are used to instruct and guide young singers and poets in their path along the bardic way.  Both cautionary and inspiring, the poem references both the duties and the privileges of a bard.  Its by-now well-known title refers to the 'meed' or payment, that which is requited to a labourer in response to his/her efforts, and warns young minstrels - who might see only the glory and glamour of singing for kings, or to dream of their golden torcs - that the rewards of a bardic life are more than likely to be intangible."








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"Give me a land of boughs in leaf /  a land of trees that stand; / where trees are fallen there is grief; /  I love no leafless land."   --A.E. Housman
 
Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #3 on: 27 November 2012, 04:49:28 »

Excellent introduction, Judy!  thumbup I also hope the online class helps to find some peace of mind you definitely need right now, and once the exam stress is over you really should completely relax for a longer period of time as the doctor ordered. I notice also that in my environment people are diagnosed with burn out syndrome, so it looks like in this day and age everything comes together in a person's mind and causes lots of stress. And that's definitely not the best thing if this happens continuously.

Here in Santharia not that much is happening anyway right now, so you're not missing much. :) I personally find that quite nice for a change, as I also need some peace and quiet from time to time, so no problem with that from here. cool
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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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