The Song of the Stone, Part Two
But Ernmas’ daughter, Morrigu,
Crafty Anand, cruel, untrue,
Took up the quarrel with princely Lugh
And rose in stormy mutiny
When Ith, with all the sons of Mil,
Came oversea to raze and kill,
And Ollamh made of Lia Fail
The exiled Stone of Destiny.
“It must depart,” he said. “Its fate
Lies not with us. I’ll not debate
The point with you. Or soon or late,
To Inisfail it’s going:
Out past the twilight’s shimmering shore,
Out through the sunset’s glimmering door,
Where boiling oceans simmering pour
Down cliffs beyond all knowing.
“A thousand years of sorrowing,
A thousand troubles borrowing,
A thousand curses harrowing
We brought on all we cherish
When Gathelus, inflamed with greed,
Usurped the Stone to serve his need,
His wants to fill, his lusts to feed –
We right his wrong or perish.”
He turned away; she stormed and flew,
She raved and ranted, croaked and crew;
To Tory’s fastness she withdrew
Where giants keep the portals.
But Lia Fail passed out of Meath,
And Faerie slipped away beneath
The softness of the hills and heath,
Invisible to mortals.
And now she keeps her vigil keen
And rules the Sidhe as tyrant-queen,
Watching town and hill and green,
To all the world an Enemy;
Thus to and fro she sends her spies
And scans the earth with hungry eyes
Seeking desperately the prize –
The fabled the Stone of Destiny.
But if the ancient tales tell true,
The Fomor and the Morrigu
Must one day gnash their teeth and rue
The schemes of their devising;
For though at length they seize and bind it,
The Stone will crush them when they find it,
Leaving their shattered bones behind it,
Glorious in its rising.
As air beneath the water’s flow
Must bubble upward, even so
The heaven-born to heaven must go
To find a place of rest.
The Stone that fell from sky to earth
Cannot remain within the girth
Of narrow nature: true to its birth,
It seeks the utmost West.
And there beyond the sea and sky,
Where hopes and fears and sorrows die
And cast-off dreams slip gently by
To join the day’s descending,
Shall Lia Fail pass into light
Of golden sun and silvery night,
Where children of the Second Sight
Discern the joy unending.