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Witchvox Chapter: Local Poetry
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VxPoem ID: 36391
Posted: July 1st. 2009 4:55:44 PM
THE LEGEND OF AENGUS OG
by Celtic Grey Wolf
Age Group: Adult
Aengus Og lived at Newgrange. One night he was visited in a dream by a beautiful maiden, who vanished when he put out his arms to embrace her. All the next day, Aengus took no food. Upon the following night, the fair apparition came again, and played and sang to him. That following day he also fasted. So things went on like that for a year, while Aengus pined and wasted away for love of this fair maid.
Eventually the physicians of the Tuatha prevailed upon him to act, his mother the goddess Bóinn was sent for, and she persuaded his father to send to all the lesser deities of Ireland, charging them to search for her. After a year, she was found by Aengus's brother, Bodbh the Red, who brought him to see her.
Her name was Caer Ibormeith, meaning Yew Berry; and when Aonghus saw her, she was standing by a lake surrounded by thrice fifty maidens linked together by a silver chain. But when Aengus asked her father for her hand in marriage he revealed that there was nothing he could do, as his daughter was a swan-maiden, and every year as soon as summer was over, she went with her companions to a lake called Lough Bel Dragan (The Dragon‘s Mouth) , and all of them became swans. The white swans seem to be the teeth of the dragon that float upon the placid waters of the lake.
On the advice of his father, Aengus went to the shore of the lake and waited in patience until Samhain Eve, the day of the magical change, and called to her. Caer appeared along with thrice fifty swans, herself a swan surpassing all the rest in beauty and whiteness. Upon calling her name, she magically transformed into her human shape and learned the meaning of her name (yew berry) . A year passed and Aengus very much wished to make her his bride. She promised to be his wife, if he could pick her out of a flock of 150 of her ladies in waiting. Aengus successfully passed the test and with a word she changed him into a swan as well. Together they flew three times around the lake, and took off side by side for Aengus' palace in Brugh na Boinne where the magic of their singing put the whole of Ireland to sleep for three days and three nights.
Author's Location: Snoqualmie Valley, Washington
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