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Poem: "Of the Line of Danu" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "Of the Line of Danu"
This poem came out of the August 5, 2014 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] clare_dragonfly. It also fills the "regret" square in the Birthday Bingo Fest Public Card 7-29-14. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette.  It belongs to the Ursulan Cycle.

"Of the Line of Danu"

Morgause saw her opportunity
on the day the human king's daughter
was born in the castle Tintagel.

She showed herself to King Uthyr,
and for a time he overlooked her;
but Queen Igraine was weary from childbirth
and busy with her new babe, so in time
the king's eye turned elsewhere.

It was not so easy to quicken
a faerie womb as a mortal woman's,
but King Uthyr had no need to know that,
and Morgause was skilled in herbcraft.

It took a few years, but just as Ursula
turned five, Morgause gave birth
to a son named Morgan.

King Uthyr was quietly pleased
with his little lovechild, but
the courtiers were a bit too pleased.

They bade him set aside
the daughter of his marriage bed
for the son from the other side of the sheets.

King Uthyr would not hear of it,
which in the end cost him his life.

Morgause fled with her son
to keep him safe until he grew
old enough to defend himself.

Her one regret was that
the boy showed no interest
in magic nor the mysteries of faerie.
His only connection lay in his name:
Morgan Tud, Morgan the Fey.

Morgause set him to be May King,
and to her considerable surprise,
he got a child on the May Queen.

Perhaps his mortal leanings
had made him more fertile.

The May Queen had no desire
to keep her by-blown babe,
and so Morwenna came to Morgan.

The laughing little girl was a delight
to father and grandmother alike,
her baby laughter sweet as music.

Morgause kept Morwenna while Morgan
attended school to become a physician,
and so it was that Morgause witnessed a marvel
on the morning of Morwenna's third birthday:

when the little girl laughed just so,
a flock of pixies came out of hiding
to flit around her in motes of golden light.

So this was the wielder of magic
she had seen in the aisling
that sent her to King Uthyr's bed.

When Morgan asked after his daughter
that evening, Morgause just smiled
and said the day contained nothing of note.

After all, Morwenna was just a toddler
and Morgan had yet to complete his studies;
there would be time to plot later.

Morgause was of the line of Danu:
she knew how to wait.

* * *


The Tuatha Dé Danann are variously spoken of as faeries or deities, the early people of Irish folklore.

Morgan Tud is a minor character appearing in some early stories of the Arthurian Cycle.

The May Queen has a primary role in ancient fertility festivals of Beltane.

Aisling means "dreamvision," a form of prophecy or divination, also the name of a poetic form featuring such motifs.

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2 comments or Leave a comment
From: technoshaman Date: August 11th, 2014 04:33 am (UTC) (Link)
Innnnnnteresting twist on the old legends. Hmmm. Not so far from Erin to Gwynnedd, eh? :)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 11th, 2014 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)


Perhaps true. I like the ideal of machinations and intrigue, where everyone has their own goals and those may intersect or oppose, but it doesn't necessarily mean any given person is bad.
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