Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Heart of Ireland

Skryne, Faughan, Lismullen, Tara,
Look around these hills of drama,
For if there is a heart to Ireland
It beats here, where we now stand.

Each ditch and mound, earthwork, embankment
Tells its story of burial and settlement,
Worship of ancient Gods, of gatherings
Right back to the time of the old High Kings.

The very folds in the landscape hold our history
And beyond that, our myth and mystery.
This is home to the Goddess Maebh
Honoured here three thousand years.

Once a Royal City filled the whole of Gabhra
And vast timber temples formed the sanctuary of Tara.
Here fought our heroes from the time of the Fianna,
And Kings were crowned by the Tuathá de Danann.

At the mound of Hostages, Duma na nGiall,
First home to the stone of destiny, Lia Fáil,
Perfectly aligned with sunrise Samhain and Imbolc,
And every full moon in honour of Lugh.

So standing here now, let’s contemplate
What will be Ireland’s fate,
If we build a road through the valley of Gabhra
And destroy the sacred sites round Tara?

What will the future say of us,
When we in our turn, are ancestors
If we are responsible for the desecration
Of the most powerful symbol of our nation?

So lost are we to a sense of self,
Intent on destroying our truest wealth,
Only a people who do not understand
Could so wound the heart of Ireland.

Or will we become the generation
Who refused to allow this violation?
Who’ll fight to the end like heroes before
Because we know what it is we’re fighting for.

So our children’s children’s children can stand
As we now stand on this sacred land,
Feel its heartbeat, know its power,
Cos’ we saved Tara in her darkest hour.

Dearbhaile Bradley
Chief Bard of Ynys Witrin 2007

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