Thursday, July 14, 2016

Relating to Rhetoric and Hi Tech



Data Mining Reveals the Six Basic Emotional Arcs of Storytelling

Scientists at the Computational Story Laboratory have analyzed novels to identify the building blocks of all stories.

Scientists at the Computational Story Laboratory have analyzed novels to identify the building blocks of all stories.
TECHNOLOGYREVIEW.COM|BY EMERGING TECHNOLOGY FROM THE ARXIV

Saturday, July 2, 2016

B: Free Books on Poetic Grammar for the Bard

070116a



Here I will try to share free downloadable (most often very old) books on Poetic Grammar, Meter and the like. That can be a great aid to the becoming Bard or even the Elder Bard.

TDK


1) A really nice find and something on this line I have been look for for a long time.
Not having any formal training on the subject. tdk

"The Original Rhythmic Grammar of the English Language or the Art of Reading and Speaking on the Principles of the Music of Speech"
by  THE REV. JAMES CHAPMAN,
Teacher of the Science and Practice of Elocution  at Edinburgh.
(1821)

Ref. this book may be searched for by title and downloaded free from Books.Google.com

Monday, April 11, 2016

R: Princess Elizabeth (Queen) Initiated A Welsh Bard (1946).

"Princess Elizabeth being initiated into the Gorsedd of Wales (the national Gorsedd of Wales, the Gorsedd Beirdd Ynys Prydain, meaning "The Gorsedd of Bards of the Island of Britain") by two Druid priestesses, 1946."Most interesting bit of recorded history.


>>
Mountain Ash, Wales. Princess Elizabeth becomes a bard in ancient Welsh ceremony.

Druids raise the ancient and sacred sword above their heads for the ceremony at the National Eisteddfod of Wales at Dyffryn Park. High angle shots of the ceremony in progress. Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II), dressed in ancient robes, is led to the Arch Druid to become a bard, everyone applauds her. M/S as a lady-in-waiting adjusts the ancient head-dress for Princess Elizabeth. She walks from the ceremony. C/U of Princess Elizabeth dressed in the robes of a novitiate. M/S as the Arch Druid drinks from the "Horn of Plenty". C/U individual shots of various druids in the ancient white costume of the calling. Various shots of the ceremony. <<
http://www.britishpathe.com/video/princess-a-welsh-bard/query/DRUIDS+CEREMONY+AT



2) Same as above, movie and newscaster soundtract

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Young+Queen+Elizabeth+and+druid&&view=detail&mid=EB2D070C89959F6F355EEB2D070C89959F6F355E&FORM=VRDGAR

3) Video and live soundtrack, with horns and singing..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WUtGN2rdyw

4)
>>
Queen Elizabeth Meets the Druids
Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) in a robe of green is led by an acolyte to Archdruid Crwys Williams, who will initiate her into the Mystic Circle of Bards at the national Eisteddfod, or festival, at Mountain Ash, Glamorgan, Wales, August 6, 1946. Men and women who have made a significant and lasting contribution to Welsh culture are sometimes initiated or ceremonially welcomed into Druidical mysteries. But again — there’s no certainty that these mysteries, so many hundreds of years after the original Druids thrived, are related in any way to the actual practices, beliefs, and rituals of the ancients themselves.
<<
https://eternalidolinterlude.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/film-of-princess-elizabeths-initiation-into-welsh-druid-order-1946/

4)


  • Soon, Princess Elizabeth started accompanying her parents on official trips both within England
  • and abroad.

  • She was inducted into the Welsh Gorsedd of Bards at the National Eisteddfod of Wales in 1946.
  •  A year later, on her first official visit with her parents, she travelled through the South African countries.

Read more at:

 http://www.thefamouspeople.com/profiles/queen-elizabeth-ii-2987.php#cupiZZfUKZ4u6GgJ.99



Generally accepted colors for Druidic Robes:and Vestments.

http://thedruidking.blogspot.com/.../druidic-chains-robes

Friday, May 29, 2015

The Capitive Archer







To-morrow I will bend the Bow!

My Soul shall have her mark again ,

My Bosum feel the Archer's stain!


No longer pasing to and fro

With loosened arms and slacken brain,

As goes the arrow, forth I go!


And pride and purpose I shall know!

Red Moon hangs above the grain,

My Soul shall have her mark again

My Bosum feel the Archer's stain!

To-morrow I will bend the Bow!

by Padraic Colum.


Reference: Found it in >

The Leading Principles of the Brehon Laws

John A. Costello


Vol. 2, No. 8 (Dec., 1913), pp. 440

Image:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Skythian_archer_plate_BM_E135_by_Epiktetos.jpg

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Irish Bardic History & Standish O' Grady



Irish Bardic History


I have copied just a small part here to offer an easy taste of it Golden Honey. Please download the whole book for more.

P.S. Please let me know if you enjoy it.
TDK / The Druid King

INTRODUCTION OF THE BARDIC
HISTORY OF IRELAND
DAWN.
There is not perhaps in existence a product of the
human mind so extraordinary as the Irish annals. From
a time dating for more than three thousand years before
the birth of Christ, the stream of Hibernian history
flows down unintei-rupted, copious and abounding,
between accurately defined banks, with here and there
picturesque meanderings, here and there flowers lolling
on those delusive waters, but never concealed in mists
or lost in a marsh. As the centuries wend their way, king
succeeds king with a regularity most gratifying, and
fights no battle, marries no wife, begets no children,
does no doughty deed of which a contemporaneous note
was not taken, and which has not been incorporated in
the annals of his country. To think that this mighty
fabric of recorded events, so stupendous in its dimensions,
so clean and accurate in its details, so symmetrical and
elegant, should be after all a mirage and delusion, a gorgeous
bubble, whose glowing rotundity, whose rich
hues, azure, purple, amethyst and gold, vanish at a
touch and are gone, leaving a sorry remnant over
which the patriot disillusionized may grieve.
Early Irish history is the creation mainly of the bards. )(
23
24 STANDISH O GRADY
Romances and poems supplied the great blocks with which
the fabric was reared. These the chroniclers fitted into
their places, into the interstices pouring shot-rubbish,
and grouting. The bardic intellect, revolving round
certain ideas for centuries, and round certain material
facts, namely, the mighty barrows of their ancestors,
produced gradually a vast body of definite historic lore,
life-like -kings and heroes, real-seeming queens. The
mechanical intellect followed with perspicuous arrangement,
with a thirst for accuracy, minuteness, and
verisimilitude. With such quarrymen and such builders
the work went on apace, and anon a fabric huge rose like
an exhalation, and like an exhalation its towers and
pinnacles of empurpled mist are blown asunder and
dislimn.
Doubtless the legendary blends at some point with
the historic narrative. The cloud and mist somewhere
condense into the clear stream of indubitable fact. But
how to discern under the rich and teeming m3rthus of the
bards, the course of that slender and doubtful rivulet,
or beneath the piled rubbish and dust of the chroniclers,
discover the tiny track which elsewhere broadens into
the highway of a nation's history. In this minute, circumstantial,
and most imposing body of history, where
the certain legend exhibits the form of plain and probable
narrative, and the certain fact displays itself with a mythical
flourish, how there to fix upon any one point and say
here is the first truth. It is a task perilous and perplexing.
Descartes commenced his investigations into the
nature of the soul, by assuming the certainty of his
IRISH BARDIC HISTORY 25
I
own existence. Standing upon this adamantine foothold,
he sought around him for ground equally firm,
which should support his first step in the quagmire of
metaphysics. But in the early Irish history, what one
solid and irrefutable fact appears upon which we can
put foot or hand and say, " This, at all events, is certain ;
this that I hold is not mist ; this that I stand on is neither
water nor mire '
' ? Running down the long list of Milesian
kings, chiefs, brehons, and bards, where first shalt we pause,
arrested by some substantial form in this procession
of empty ghosts—how distinguish the man from the
shadow, when over all is diffused the same concealing
mist, and the eyes of the living and the dead look with
the same pale glare ? Eocha of the heavy sighs, how shall
we certify or how deny the existence of that melancholy
man, or of Tiernmas, who introduced the worship of
fire ? , Lara of the ships, did he really cross the sea to
Gaul, and return thence to give her name to Leinster, and
beget Leinster kings ? Ugainey More, did he rule to the
Torrian sea, holding sea-coast towns in fee, or was he a
prehistoric shadow thrown into the past from the stalwart
figure of Niall of the Hostages ? Was Morann a real
Brehon, or fabulous as the collar that threatened to
strangle him in the utterances of unjust judgments ?
Was Ferkeirtney a poet, having flesh and bones and blood,
and did Bricrind, the satirist, really compose those
bitter ranns for the Ultonians ? or were both as ghostly
as the prime druid, Amergin, who came into the island
with the sons of Milesius, and in a manner beyond all
praise, collected the histories of the conquered peoples ?
26 STANDISH O'GRADY
Or do we wrong that venerable man whose high-soundin
name clung for ages around the estuary of the Oboka.
One thing at all events we cannot deny—^that the
national record is at least lively. Clear noble shapes
of kings and queens, chieftains, brehons, and bards
gleam in the large rich light shed abroad over the
triumphant progress of the legendary tale. We see
Ddns snow-white with roofs striped crimson and blue,
chariots cushioned with noble skins, with bright bronze
wheels and silver poles and yokes. The lively-hearted,
resolute steeds gallop past, bearing the warrior and his
charioteer with the loud clangour of rattling spears and
darts. As in some bright young dawn, over the dewy
grass, and in the light of the rising sun, superhuman in
size and beauty, their long, yellow hair curling on their
shoulders, bound around the temples with tores of gold,
clad in white linen tunics, and loose brattas of crimson
silk fastened on the breast with huge wheel brooches of
gold, their long spears musical with running rings ; with
naked knees and bare crown, they cluster round their
kings, the chieftains and knights of the heroic age of
Ireland.
The dawn of history is like the dawn of the day. The
night of the pre-historic epoch grows rare, its dense weight
is relaxed ; flakes of fleeting and uncertain light wander
and vanish' ; vague shapes of floating mist reveal themselves,
gradually assuming form and colour ; faint hues
of crimson, silver, and gold strike here and there, and the
legendary dawn grows on. But the glory of morn though
splendid is unsubstantial ; the glory of changing and
IRISH BARDIC HISTORY 27
empurpled mist—vapours that conceal the solid face of
nature, the hills, trees, streams, and the horizon, holding
between us and the landscape a concealing veil, through
whose close woof the eye cannot penetrate, and over all a
weird strange light.
In the dawn of the history of all nations we see this
deceptive light, those glorious and unearthly shapes ;
before Grecian history, the gods and demigods who
fought around Ilium ; before Roman, the strong legends
of Virginius and Brutus ; in the dawn of Irish history,
the Knights of the Red Branch, and all the glory that
surrounded the Court of Concobar Mac Nessa, High
King of the Ultonians.
But of what use these concealing glories, these cloudy
warriors, and air-built palaces ? Why not pass on at
once to credible history ?
A nation's history is made for it by circumstances,
and the irresistible progress of events ; but their legends,
they make for themselves. In that dim twilight region,
where day meets night, the intellect of man, tired by contact
with the vulgarity of actual things, goes back for
rest and recuperation, and there sleeping, projects its
dreams against the waning night and before the rising of
the sun.
The legends represent the imagination of the country ;
they are that kind of history which a nation desires to
possess. They betray the ambition and ideals of the
people, and, in this respect, have a value far beyond
the tale of actual events and duly recorded deeds, which
are no more history than a skeleton is a man. Nay, too. X
28 STANDISH O'GRADY
they have their own reality. They fill the mind with an
adequate and satisfying pleasure. They present a
rhythmic completeness and a beauty not to be found in
the fragmentary and ragged succession of events in
time. Achilles and Troy appear somehow more real
than Histiaeus and Miletus, Cuculain and Emain Macha
than Brian Borom and Kincorih,
Such is the effect produced by a sympathetic and
imaginative study of the bardic literature, the critical
faculty being for a time held in abeyance, but with its
inevitable reappearance and reassertion of its rights, that
gorgeous world, with all its flashing glories, dissolves
like a dream, or is held together only by a resolute suppression
of all disturbing elements. If we endeavour
to realise, vividly and as a whole, the early ages and
personages of Irish history, piercing below the annals,
studying them in connection with the imaginative literature,
using everywhere a strict and critical eye, and
demanding that verisimilitude and underlying harmony
which we look for in modern historical romance,
imagination itself wavers and fails. Here is a splendid
picture, complete in all its pai-ts, fully satisfying the
imagination ; but yonder is another, and the two will
not harmonize ; or here is a fact stated, and the picture
contradicts the fact. So contemplated, the historic track,
clear and definite in the annals, viewed through the
medium of the bardic literature, is doubtful and elusive
in the extreme. Spite its splendid appearance in the
annals, it is thin, legendary, evasive. Looked at with
the severe eyes of criticism, the broad walled highway
IRISH BARDIC HISTORY Zg
of the old historians, on which pass many noble figures
of kings and queens, brehons, bards, kerds and warriors,
legislators and druids, real-seeming antique shapes of
men and women, marked by many a earn, piled above
heroes, illustrious with battles, elections, conventions,
melts away into thin air. The glare of bardic light flees
away ; the broad, firm highway is torn asunder and
dispersed ; even the narrow, doubtful track is not seen ;
we seem to foot it hesitatingly, anxiously, from steppingstone
to stepping-stone set at long distance in some
quaking Cimmerian waste. But all around, in surging,
tumultuous motion, come and go the gorgeous, unearthly
beings that long ago emanated from bardic minds, a most
weird and mocking world. Faces rush out of the darkness,
and as swiftly retreat again. Heroes expand into giants,
and dwindle into goblins, or fling aside the heroic form
and gambol as buflFoons ; gorgeous palaces are blown
asunder like a smoke-wreath ; kings, with wand of silver
and ard-roth of gold, move with all their state from century
to century ; puissant heroes, whose fame reverberates
through and sheds a glory over epochs, approach and
coalesce ; battles are shifted from place to place and century
to century ; buried monarchs reappear, and run a
new career of glory. The explorer visits an enchanted
land where he is mocked and deluded. Everything
seems blown loose from its fastenings. All that should
be most stable is whirled round and borne away like foam
or dead leaves in a storm.
But with the cessation of this creative bardic energy,
yvhat a deposit and residuum for the annalists. Consider
30 STANDISH O GRADY
the great work of the Four Masters, as it treats of this
period, that strange sarcophagus filled with the imagined
dust of visionary hosts. There lies a vast silent land, a
land of the dead, a vast continent of the dead, lit with
pale phosphoric radiance. The weird light that surges
round us elsewhere has passed away from that land. The
phantasmal energy has ceased there—the transmutation
scenes that mock, the chaos, and the whirlwind. There,
too, at one time, the same phantasmagoria prevailed,
real-seeming warriors thundered, kings glittered, kerds
wrought, harpers harped, chariots rolled. But all that has
passed away. Reverent hands, to whom that phantasmal
world was real, decently composed and laid aside in due
order the relics and anatomies of those airy nations,
building over each hero his tomb, and setting up his
gravestone, piously graving the year of .his death and
birth, and his battles. There they repose in their
multitudes in ordered and exact numbers and relation,
reaching away into the dim past to the edge of the great
deluge, and beyond it ; there the Queen Ceasair and her
comrades, pre-Noachian wanderers ; there Fintann,
who lived on both sides of the great flood, and roamed
the depths when the world was submerged ; there
Partholanus and his ill-starred race—the chroniclers
know them all ; there the children of Nemed in their
own Golgotha, their stones all carefully lettered, these
not so ancient as the rest, only three thousand years
before the birth of Christ ; there the Clan Fomor, a
giant race, and the Firbolgs with their correlatives,
Fir-Domnan and Fir-Gaileen—the Tuatha De Danan,
IRISH BARDIC HISTORY 3!
whom the prudent annalist condemns to a place amongst
the dead—a divine race they will not die—they flee afar,
preferring their phantasmal life ; even the advent of the
Talkend will not slay them, though their glory suffers
eclipse before the new faith. The children of Milith
are there with their long ancestry reaching to Egypt and
the Holy Land—Heber, Heremon, Amergin, Ir, with all
their descendants, each beneath his lettered stone
;
Tiernmas and Moh Corb, Ollav Fohla, their lines descending
through many centuries ; all put away and
decently composed for ever. No confusion now, no
dissolving scenes or aught that shocks and disturbs, no
conflicting events and incredible re-appearances.
Chronology is respected. The critical and historical
intellect has provided that all things shall be done rightly
and in order, that the obits and births and battles should
be natural and imposing, and worthy of the annals of an
ancient people.
And thus, regarding the whole from a point of view
sufiiciently remote, a certain epic completeness and
harmony characterizes that vast panoramic succession
of ages and races.


STANDISH O'GRADY
Selected Essays
and Passages
1905

Reference Link:

The original of this book is in
tine Cornell University Library.
There are no known copyright restrictions in
the United States on the use of the text.

http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924009202007

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Seanchaí and Oral Story Telling




Homer and Story Telling Video. (Good Video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL628CA125B177BDA4&v=K08vUnVpHcw&index=2&app=desktop


A Really good article !
http://druids.wikispaces.com/Seanchaí

A bit I wrote sometime ago

The Druid King: D.S. or Druid Speak
http://thedruidking.blogspot.com/.../ds-or-druid-speak.html

Bits from one of my  groups.

a: Repertoire: Memorization, reading or outline-improv?


b: Voice and Bearing: Volume, dynamics, characterization

c: Tropes and Tricks: choose a list of such - descriptions, line-length play, rhythmic sections, repetition and motif, etc.

 Memorization takes time. What devices could be used while in the process?

A list of Tropes and Tricks?
>>
Searles O'Dubhain Carve your notes in Ogham on several staves.

 Use them and read them aloud to key your mind and memory to the images and tales associated with the phrase that you have carved.

Go through them in sequence.

If there is something that needs to be embellished use a standard template for the type of embellishment to be done.

 You can customize it to the tale or the subject.

That's why the Briatharogam are studied by Druid students.  <<


The Study of the Orally Transmitted Ballad:  Past Paradigms and a New Poetics
by Teresa Catarella
http://journal.oraltradition.org/files/articles/9ii/14_catarella.pdf

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


THE ART OF THE STORY-TELLER
BY MARIE L. SHEDLOCK

http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/shedlock/story/story.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The art of story-telling, with nearly half a hundred stories, by Julia Darrow Cowles
Can only read on-Line
http://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/001882670
---------------------------------------------------------------

Princes and Performers: The Evolution of the
 Bardic Oral Tradition, Ancient Times to the Present

http://www.ravensanctuary.com/scratches/essays/bard-paper.pdf
----------------------------------------------------------------------------


Eddic Listing Techniques and the Coherence of “Rúnatal”
Listing was a fundamental activity of early poets, having its roots in the need for the efficient organization of information that had to be stored in the memory, as well as in the mnemonic requirements of oral delivery.


https://scholar.google.com/scholar?start=250&q=Poetic+Edda&hl=en&as_sdt=0,11

Irish titles for poetic grades.



Lisabeth Ryder Partial list of titles for poetic grades (healers and seers not included):


 In Uraicecht na Ríar these are given as fochloc, macfuirmid, dos, cano, clí, ánruth, and 

ollam. But Brehon, Filid, Druid also appears in the literature. 

Ollave or Ollamh: Is relly just the higest level of whatever rofession it is modiying.


OLLAMHS (OLLAVES)

CHAPTER VII....continued
5. The Men of Learning.
Professions Hereditary.—In ancient Ireland, the professions almost invariably ran in families, so that members of the same household devoted themselves to one particular science or art—Poetry, History, Medicine, Building, Law, as the case might be—for generations.
Ollamhs or Doctors and their requirements.—Ollamh [ollav] was the title of the highest degree in any art or profession: thus we read of an ollave poet, an ollave builder, an ollave goldsmith, an ollave physician, an ollave lawyer, and so forth, just as we have in modern times doctors of law, of music, of literature, of philosophy, of medicine, &c. In order to attain the degree of ollave, a candidate had to graduate through all the lower steps: and for this final degree he had to submit his work—whether literary compositions or any other performance—to some eminent ollave who was selected as judge. This ollave made a report to the king, not only on the candidate's work, but also on his general character, whether he was upright, free from unjust dealings, and pure in conduct and word,i.e., free from immorality, bloodshed, and abuse of others. If the report was favourable, the king formally conferred the degree.
Almost every ollave, of whatever profession, kept apprentices, who lived in his house, and who learned their business by the teaching and lectures of the master, by reading, and by actual practice, or seeing the master practise; for they accompanied him on his professional visits. The number under some ollaves was so large as to constitute a little school. There was, of course, a fee; in return for which, as the Brehon Law expresses it:—"Instruction without reservation, and correction without harshness, are due from the master to the pupil, and to feed and clothe him during the time he is at his learning." Moreover the pupil was bound to help the master in oldage if poverty came on him. The same passage in the Brehon Law continues:—"To help him against poverty, and to support him in old age [if necessary], these are due from the pupil to the tutor."
Although there were ollaves of the various professions and crafts, this word "ollave" was commonly understood to mean a doctor of Poetry, or of History, or of both combined: for these two professions overlapped a good deal, and the same individual generally professed both. A literary ollave, as a fili or poet, was expected to be able to compose a quatrain, or some very short poem, extemporaneously, on any subject proposed on the moment. As a Shanachie or Historian, the ollave was understood to be specially learned in the History, Chronology, Antiquities, and Genealogies of Ireland. We have already seen that he should know by heart 350 Historical and Romantic Stories. He was also supposed to know the prerogatives, rights, duties, restrictions, tributes, &c., of the king of Ireland, and of the provincial kings. As a learned man he was expected to answer reasonable questions, and explain difficulties.
These were large requirements: but then he spent many years of preparation: and once admitted to the coveted rank, the guerdon was splendid; for he was highly honoured, had many privileges, and received princely rewards and presents. Elsewhere it is shown that a king kept in his household an ollave of each profession, who was well paid for his services. The literary ollave never condescended to exercise his profession—indeed he was forbidden to do so—for any but the most distinguished company—kings and chiefs and such like, with their guests. He left thepoets of the lower grades to attend a lower class of people.
Poets' Visitations and Sale of Poems.—In Ireland the position of the poets constituted perhaps the most singular feature of society. It had its origin in the intense and universal veneration for learning, which, however, as we shall see, sometimes gave rise to unhealthful developments that affected the daily life of all classes, but particularly of the higher. Every ollave filè was entitled to expect and receive presents from those people of the upper classes to whom he presented his poetical compositions: a transaction which the records openly call "selling his poetry." The ollave poet was entitled to go on cuairt [coort]—'circuit' or visitation: i.e. he went through the country at certain intervals with a retinue of twenty-four of his disciples or pupils, and visited the kings and chiefs one after another, who were expected to lodge and entertain them all for some time with lavish hospitality, and on their departure to present the ollave with some valuable present for his poetry; especially one particular prepared poem eulogising the chief himself, which was to be recited and presented immediately on the poet's arrival.
The poet had also a right to entertainment in the houses of public hospitality. Sometimes an ollave poet, instead of going in person, sent round one of his principal pupils as deputy, with his poetry, who brought home to him the rewards. When a poet of one of the six inferior grades went on visitation, he was allowed a retinue, according to his rank, who were to be entertained with him. This remarkable custom of visitation, which is constantly mentioned in Irish writings of all kinds, existed from the most remote pagan times, and continued down to the beginning of the nineteenth century.
The Satire.—The grand weapon of the poets, by which they enforced their demands, was the aer, a sort of satire or lampoon, which—as the people believed—had some baleful preternatural influence for inflicting mischief, physical or mental: so that it was very much dreaded. A poet could compose an aer that would blight crops, dry up milch-cows, raise a ferb or bolg, i.e. an ulcerous blister, on the face, and, what was perhaps worst of all, ruin character and bring disgrace. The dread of these poetical lampoons was as intense in the time of Spenser as it was eight centuries before, as is shown by his words:—"None dare displease them [the poets] for feare to runne into reproach thorough their offence, and to be made infamous in the mouthes of all men."
A poet—it was believed—could kill the lower animals by an aer. A story is told of Senchan Torpest, chief poet of Ireland, who lived in the seventh century, that once when his dinner was eaten in his absence by rats he uttered anaer on them in his ill-humour, beginning, "Rats, though sharp their snouts, are not powerful in battle," which killed ten of them on the spot. Hence it was believed, even down to late times, that the Irish bards could rhyme rats to death; which is often alluded to by Shakespeare and other English writers of the time of Elizabeth. Some poets devoted themselves exclusively to the composition of satires: these were very much dreaded and generally hated.
All people, high and low, had a sincere admiration and respect for these poets, and, so far as their means permitted, willingly entertained them and gave them presents, of which we find instances everywhere in the literature: and the law made careful provision for duly rewarding them and protecting them from injuries. But, as might be expected, they often abused their position and privileges by unreasonable demands, so that many of them, while admired for their learning, came to be feared and hated for their arrogance.
Their oppression became so intolerable that on three several occasions in ancient times—at long intervals—the people of all classes rose up against them and insisted on their suppression. But they were saved each time by the intervention of the men of Ulster. The last occasion of these was at the convention of Drum-Ketta in the year 574, during the reign of Aed mac Ainmirech, when the king himself and the greater part of the kings and chiefs of Ireland determined to have the whole order suppressed, and the worst among them banished the country. But St. Columkille interposed with a more moderate and a better proposal, which was agreed to through his great influence. The poets and their followers were greatly reduced in number: strict rules were laid down for the regulation of their conduct in the future; and those who were fit for it, especially the ollaves, were set to work to teach schools, with land for their maintenance, so as to relieve the people from their exactions.
Much has been said here about the poets that abused their privileges. These were chiefly the satirists, who were mostly men of sinister tendencies. But we should glance at the other side. At all periods of our history poets are found, of noble and dignified character, highly learned, and ever ready to exert their great influence in favour of manliness, truthfulness, and justice. To these we owe a great number of poems containing invaluable information on the history and antiquities of the country: and such men were at all times respected, loved, and honoured, as will be shown in the next section.<<