Sunday, October 4, 2015

Irish Boasts for the ascension of Brennan II and Caoilfhionn II

As part of their efforts to do a early Irish Coronation ceremony, +Brennan mac Fearghus and +Meredith Bailin Hull  wanted their herald to lead them in with boasts about each of them and their deeds.  +Murray Blehart was having a little trouble coming up with something with the right "feel" and I offered to do some research into the Irish Annals (books written recording the history of Ireland, interspersed with snippets of poetry honoring people in the news -- sort of an Irish version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle or USA Today).

For Brennan, I extracted and adapted the English translation of a poem about a dead Irish king, found in Annals of the Four Masters entry M914.10. (English version) (Gaelic version)   About 90% of the poem could be lifted directly, so with minimal editorial alterations, it became this:

Brennan, Fergus's  son, better than all children, Prince of the East, fierce his valor
It was he that ruled our people in days of good fortune and glad victory.
Flowing flood of great wealth, gift-giver, war-band leader,
Hero who subdued the Dragon, leader of the Tyger's men of august mien,
Pillar of dignity over every head, fair chief of valor, caster of the spears
Sun-flash, noble, pleasant, head of the men of hospitality is Brennan.

And that's what Malcolm proclaimed as they processed into Court to accept their Crowns from Mistress Mercedes, acting as Regent of the Kingdom.

Finding something for a female monarch was harder, but I pieced together bits and pieces from various 10th cen. Irish sources and proposed this for Caoilfhionn.

Hail, the illustrious black-haired lady of the charming face, Caoilfhionn, Faelan’s daughter,
By the hosts of people assembled is she loved, a gem of the full precious stone, 
Fair and lovely, noble in her strength; great is her renown in every good thing.
Wise woman who enforces the law upon all, glorious lady who dispenses peace all round.
Queen of the Easterners, brilliance of the sun, the sun upon her cheek.

The phrases and descriptives are all lifted from various 10th cen. sections of the Annals, but they were not combined to describe one person this way.  (Yes, "black-haired lady of the charming face" is precisely how one Annalist described a woman he was praising).  I think with another day to fiddle, I could have half-assed this one less than I did.

However, as it turned out, my proposal wasn't to Caoilfhionn's taste and it wasn't used, so the only evidence of my half-assed effort will be found here.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, your proposed boast was used as the base of what was said in the end. I thoroughly appreciate your help with this.