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,
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
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.