Winter Tidings

Take heed, for – I have tidings for you

the stag bells – in broken blinding wood

Winter Snows – wind their icy pathways

Summer has gone


Wind high and – cold whistles over waves

the sun low – brief its course, shortens still

the sea runs – high over rough cliff edge  

Autumn has come


Crimson the – bracken bows its branches

it has lost – its form to the hoarfrost

the wild goose – has taken to its wing

Winter is nigh


cold has claimed – halls of northern children

the birds’ wings – lay still seized, by the chill

season of – ice approaches us now

Heed my Tidings


This was written in an Irish format. There are 9 beats per line with a four beat end line.

I have documented this style from the book “Early Celtic Versecraft” by James Travis, published by the Cornell University Press in 1973.

The poem this is illustrated in is:

Coimdiu caid cumachtach,

crist cain ar clothbile,

comarba noibnime

nertaid fial firinne

fir ferba fath (6 beat line, 4 beat end line)


The content of Winter Tidings was taken from another unnamed Irish poem:

“I have tidings for you;

the stag bells

winter snows,

summer has gone.


Wind high and cold

the sun low

short its course

the sea running high.


Crimson the bracken,

it has lost its shape,

the wild goose has raised

its accustomed cry


cold has seized

the birds wings

season of ice,

these are my tidings”


Found in the book “Early Celtic Nature Poetry” by Kenneth Jackson. Published by Cambridge University Press in 1937.  I had wanted to put this poem back into its original meter which required expansion of the original piece.


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