The Rights of the King of Tara

When the king of Tara is not king of Ireland, he is entitled to a hundred swords, a hundred shields, a hundred horses, a hundred coloured cloths, and a hundred coats of mail. That is from the king of Ireland to the king of Tara. Now from the king of Tara to his kings and to the tribes of Meath: twenty horns, twenty swords, twenty slaves, and twenty hounds to the king of Brega. Five shields, five swords, five cloaks, five horses, and five hounds to the king of Mag Lacha. Ten horses, ten slaves, ten women and ten horns to the king of Laegaire. Seven shields, seven horses, seven slaves, seven women, and seven hounds to the king of Ardgal. Seven horses, seven swords, seven horns, and seven cloaks to the king of Fir Chell. Six horses, six swords, six shields, and six slaves to the king of Fir Thulach. Eight shields, eight swords, eight horns, and eight horses to the king of Fir Thethba. Six shields, six horses, six cloaks, six slaves, and six horns to the king of Cuircne. Five horses, five swords, and five cloaks to the king of Uí Beccon. Five women, five horses, five horns, and five shields to the king of Coill Fallamain. Eight slaves, eight women, eight horses, eight shields, and eight swords to the king of Delbna Mór. And it is for them that Benén sang:

  1. Recount the rights of the king of Tara
    which gracious Benén has told;
    what is due to him at Tara
    has been memorized by a Latin scholar.
  2. The king of Tara of the princes
    is entitled to a hundred swords and a hundred shields,
    a hundred suits and a hundred horses,
    a hundred mantles and a hundred coats of mail.
  3. The fair king of the realm of Brega
    is entitled to twenty horns, twenty swords,
    twenty hounds, and twenty slaves
    as stipend from the king of Tara.
  4. The king of Mag Lacha is entitled
    to five shields, five fighting swords,
    five fleecy cloaks, five horses,
    and five white hounds in fine array.
  5. The swift king of Laegaire is entitled
    to ten sturdy horses in his tribeland,
    ten slaves, ten full-grown women, ten hounds,
    and ten horns for the drinking-feast.
  6. The stipend of the noble king of Ardgal
    is seven shields, seven horses from Scotland,
    seven full-grown women,
    seven slaves, and seven hounds.
  7. The king of Coill Echach is entitled
    to seven strong horses from the king of tribes,
    seven swords for battle,
    seven horns and seven coloured cloaks.
  8. The strong king of Fir Thulach
    is entitled to six horses from overseas (?),
    six swords, six red shields,
    and six foreign slaves without speech.
  9. The stipend of the king of Fir Thethba
    is eight shields, eight fighting swords,
    eight horns, eight mantles,
    and eight worthy slave women.
  10. The king of Curcne of the fen
    is entitled to six shields, six horses,
    six cloaks, six slaves,
    and six horns for ready service.
  11. The stipend of the king of Uí Beccon
    is five horses that are fast away,
    five brilliant cloaks of lasting colour,
    and five swords for battle.
  12. The king of Coill In Ollaim is entitled to five shields,
    five horns for his treasure,
    five horses brought in well-laden ships,
    and five worthy woman slaves.
  13. The king of festive Delbna is entitled
    to eight swords, eight shields from across the sea,
    eight horses with slender legs,
    eight slaves, and eight slave women.
  14. That is the tradition of the kings of Tara—
    not every prattling bard can tell it—
    it befits not the bard but only the file
    to know the rights of every king.

Lebor na Cert, Section VI.

Princeps Apostolorum

Statue of the saint in St. Peter's Square.
Statue of the saint in St. Peter’s Square.

Beatus Petrus, apostolus et princeps apostolorum, Antiochenus, filius Iohannis, prouinciae Gallileae, uico Bethsaida, frater Andreae, primum sedit cathedram episcopatus in Antiochia annos VII. Hic Petrus ingressus in urbe Roma, Nerone Cæsare, ibique sedit cathedram episcopatus ann. XXV m. II d. III. Fuit autem temporibus Tiberii Cæsaris et Gaii et Tiberii Claudi et Neronis.

— Liber Pontificalis.

Calum-Cille, Peadail, agus Pol

Flavian Amphitheatre, Rome, Italy.
Flavian Amphitheatre, Rome, Italy.

A day as I was going to Rome,
I forgathered with Columba, Peter, and Paul,
The talk that they had and that happened in their mouths,
Was loud-lunged, white-bellied, female calves,
As was spoken in the prophecy,
On this foundation for a year and a day,
Through the bosom of the God of life and all the hosts,
Chief of chiefs and of the everlasting Powers above.

Carmina Gadelica, Uibe, 188.

* * *

La domh ’s mi dol dh’ an Roimh,
Thachair orm Calum-cille, Peadail, agus Pol,
Is e comhradh a bh’ aca ’s a thachair bhi ’n am beul,
Laoigh bheura, bhoirionn, bhailgionn,
Mar thubhradh anns an dailgionn,
Air an laraich seo gu ceann la ’s bliadhna,
A uchd Dia nan dul is nan uile bhuadh,
Triath nan triath ’s nan Cumhachdan siorruidh shuas.

— Carmina Gadelica, Uibe, 188.

Sian Bride

The charm put by Bride the beneficent,
On her goats, on her sheep, on her kine,
On her horses, on her chargers, on her herds,
Early and late going home, and from home.

To keep them from rocks and ridges,
From the heels and the horns of one another
From the birds of the Red Rock,
And from Luath of the Feinne.

From the blue peregrine hawk of Creag Duilion,
From the brindled eagle of Ben-Ard,
From the swift hawk of Tordun,
From the surly raven of Bard’s Creag.

From the fox of the wiles,
From the wolf of the Mam,
From the foul-smelling fumart,
And from the restless great-hipped bear.

*       *       *       *       *
*       *       *       *       *

From every hoofed of four feet,
And from every hatched of two wings.

Carmina Gadelica, Uibe, 136.

Continue reading “Sian Bride”

J.E.B. Stuart’s Flag

General J.E.B. Stuart's personal Army of Northern Virginia battle flag. In December 2006, a personal Confederate battle flag, sewn by Flora Stuart, was sold in a Heritage Auction for a world-record price for any Confederate flag, for $956,000 (including buyer's premium).[80] The 34-inch by 34-inch flag was hand-sewn for Stuart by Flora in 1862 and Stuart carried it into some of his most famous battles. However, in December of that year it fell from a tent front into a campfire and was damaged. Stuart returned it to his wife with a letter describing the accident and telling of his despondency over the banner's damage.[81] The flag remained with the Stuart family until 1969 when it was given to Stuart Hall, Staunton, Virginia, by a granddaughter of the Confederate general. The school quietly sold the flag and letter to a private collector in 2000. In 2006, the flag and letter, which had been displayed in a single frame in the Stuart Hall front parlor, were sold separately at auction.
General J.E.B. Stuart’s personal Army of Northern Virginia battle flag. In December 2006, this flag, sewn by Flora Stuart, was sold in a Heritage Auction for a world-record price for any Confederate flag, for $956,000 (including buyer’s premium). The 34-inch by 34-inch flag was hand-sewn for Stuart by Flora in 1862 and Stuart carried it into some of his most famous battles. However, in December of that year it fell from a tent front into a campfire and was damaged. Stuart returned it to his wife with a letter describing the accident and telling of his despondency over the banner’s damage. The flag remained with the Stuart family until 1969 when it was given to Stuart Hall, Staunton, Virginia, by a granddaughter of the Confederate general. The school quietly sold the flag and letter to a private collector in 2000. In 2006, the flag and letter, which had been displayed in a single frame in the Stuart Hall front parlour, were sold separately at auction.

I’ve Heard Them Calling My Name

Jim Henson with Kermit the Frog on the set of The Muppet Show.
Jim Henson with Kermit the Frog on the set of The Muppet Show.

Petersburg Courthouse, 1865

Petersburg, Virginia, Court House, late spring 1865; photographer unknown.
Petersburg, Virginia, Court House, late spring 1865; photographer unknown. The courthouse was a prominent landmark during the Siege of Petersburg.