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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "What the Old Ones Knew"
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls, posted here for the new prompters in the August 6, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl.


"What the Old Ones Knew"
-- a villanelle


Ask the wild bee what the druid knew,
Hidden in the woods where all things are free.
Ask the singing wren of the bandraoi too.

Questions are many, but answers are few.
If you seek the ancient lore, go and see.
Ask the wild bee what the druid knew.

For tales of spinning wheels and magic brew,
For sprigs of meadowsweet and Culver's key,
Ask the singing wren of the bandraoi too.

If you would know of honey and its dew,
Seek meadows where the wildflowers be.
Ask the wild bee what the druid knew.

If you would learn what magic spells can do,
And charm the storm upon the tossing sea,
Ask the singing wren of the bandraoi too.

What the old ones knew is wise and true,
Though much was lost as conquerors came through.
Ask the wild bee what the druid knew.
Ask the singing wren of the bandraoi too.

* * *

Notes:

Read about the villanelle form.

The key line of the poem comes from an old saying, "Ask the wild bee what the druid knew," which appears in several variations.

Bandraoi
From ban- (feminine prefix) +‎ draoi (“druid”).
Noun
bandraoi m (genitive singular bandraoi, nominative plural bandraoithe)
1. druidess, sorceress, witch

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