The Call To Bran

A poem by Isabella Augusta

One time Bran, son of Febal, was out by himself near his dun, and he heard music behind him. And it kept always after him, and at last he fell asleep with the sweetness of the sound. And when he awoke from his sleep he saw beside him a branch of silver, and it having white blossoms, and the whiteness of the silver was the same as the whiteness of the blossoms. And he brought the branch in his hand into the royal house, and when all his people were with him they saw a woman with strange clothing standing in the house. And she began to make a song for Bran, and all the people were looking at her and listening to her, and it is what she said: I bring a branch of the apple-tree from Emhain, from the far island around which are the shining horses of the Son of Lir. A delight of the eyes is the plain where the hosts hold their games: curragh racing against chariot in the Silver-White Plain to the south.

There are feet of white bronze under it, shining through life and time; a comely level land through the length of the world's age, and many blossoms falling on it.

There is an old tree there with blossoms, and birds calling from among them; every colour is shining there. Delight is common, and music in the Gentle Voiced Plain, in the Silver Cloud Plain to the south. There is nothing hard or rough, but sweet music striking on the ear; keening is not used, or treachery, in the tilled familiar land.

To be without grief, without sorrow, without death, without any sickness, without weakness; that is the sign of Emhain; it is not a common wonder that is.

There is nothing to liken its mists to, the sea washes the wave against the land; brightness falls from its hair.

Golden chariots in the Plain of the Sea, rising up to the sun with the tide; silver chariots and bronze chariots on the Plain of Sports.

It is a day of lasting weather, silver is dropping on the land; a pure white cliff on the edge of the sea, getting its warmth from the sun.

The host race over the Plain of Sports; it is beautiful and not weak their game is; death or the ebbing of the tide will not come to them in the Many-coloured Land.

There will come at sunrise a fair man, lighting up the level lands; he rides upon the plain that is beaten by the waves, he stirs the sea till it is like blood. An army will come over the clear sea, rowing to the stone that is in sight, that has a hundred sounds of music.

It sings a song to the army; it is not sad through the length of time; it increases music with hundreds singing together; they do not look for death or the ebb-tide.

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'The Call To Bran' by Isabella Augusta

comments powered by Disqus