Saturday, 24 March 2018

Gannicus the Hibernian, Award of Orion, 2018


By Maister Colyne Stewart, March AS 52 (2018)

The hammer rings on anvil’s head,
The steel wed in Credne’s clamor,
Smith, Gannicus, gives of his art,
Generous heart, the Crown thinks thus:

To Goibniu’s son, give gift,
Herald, swift, Lén’s star pearls strew,
Glad Orion’s belt gird him,
Strong of limb, honour well won.

Rylan, Edward, rich royals,
Loyal, of Mac Cuill sure scions,
In Ben Dunfirth done on feast
Of priest McCartan, bless’d birth

In year two and fifty thus,
For Gannicus, lords of tree,
Make note his deeds and sing sure,
Endure his name, give true troat.


Written as a casbairdne, an early Irish poetic form. Casbairdne were quatrains with seven syllable lines. Lines two and four rhymed, while one and three should have consonance with them (I did not adhere strongly to the consonance in this poem). Each couplet (set of two lines) had to employ cross-rhyme (where a word in the first half of the line rhymed with the last word in the other line in the couplet). Two words per line had to alliterate; in the final line of the quatrain the alliteration had to be between the last syllable and the previous stressed syllable. The poem ended with dunadh, which usually meant the last word of the poem had to be the same as the first, or it had to alliterate or rhyme with the first. (Sometimes dunadh also referred to chain rhyme).

Below is a copy of the poem with footnotes. Alliterated words have the first letter shown in bold, while rhymed syllables are shown in italics. 

The hammer rings on anvil’s head,
The steel wed in Credne[1]’s clamor,
Smith, Gannicus, gives of his art,
Generous heart, the Crown thinks thus:

To Goibniu[2]’s son, give gift,
Herald, swift, Lén[3]’s star pearls strew,
Glad Orion’s belt gird him,
Strong of limb, honour well won.

Rylan, Edward, rich royals,
Loyal, of Mac Cuill[4] sure scions,
In Ben Dunfirth done on feast
Of priest McCartan,[5] bless’d birth

In year two and fifty[6] thus,
For Gannicus, lords of tree[7],
Make note his deeds and sing sure,
Endure his name, give true troat[8].



[1] A smith of the Tuatha Dé Danaan of Irish mythology; one of the three gods of art.
[2] Another smith of the Tuatha Dé Danaan; Credne’s brother; also one of the three gods of art
[3] Lén was a fairy craftsman who, every night, flung his anvil at a nearby hill, causing pearls to shower from said anvil.
[4] A former High King of Ireland.
[5] The feast of Saint McCartan (also known as Mac Cairthinn of Clogher) is on March 24.
[6] Anno Societatis 52.
[7] A reference to the druids, who also acted as bards and recorders of history.
[8] A loud call, usually used to refer to those made by an animal trying to attract another.

No comments:

Post a comment