all songs and poems © Myra Hope Eskridge, known in the SCA as Lucien de Pontivy, Lukian Pontivyen, and Leceabh merch Ouein
Lucien performed and/or composed these works while competing to be, or serving as, the East Kingdom Queen’s Bard. Other original works may be found under Original Works.
“Gauntlets“, by Lucien de Pontivy
Our first challenge was to perform a piece on the theme of “something that inspires us”. In this original piece, I tried to fit in as many things that inspire me as I could.
“O Viridissima Virga“, by Hildegard von Bingen (c. 1150)
For the second challenge, we were asked to perform a documentably period work. I love chant, and Hildegard is one of my idols, so this piece came easily.
“Who Will Speak for the Sheep?” by Lucien de Pontivy
For the third and final challenge, contestants were given a theme and asked to write or adapt an original work to suit. The theme was: Saint Robert, pulled pork and bacon, and a reactionary dispute about the ownership of a flock of sheep. I couldn’t make heads or tails the pork thing, but I’d been present at Robert’s execution, was aware of the dispute, and had a few verses to hand for adapting.
Video kindly provided by Yona Carmichael.
“Cyne-weorc” by Lucien de Pontivy
For the coronation of Their Highnesses Kenric II and Avelina II, I wrote two new pieces. “Cyne-weorc : Kingmaking” is a poem in Old English describing the Crown Tourney bout in which Kenric fought Sir Thomas Ravenhill, and the (imagined) charge to the new King by Queen Avelina. More about the project may be found here.
“Waltant Lango” by Lucien de Pontivy
This Old High Saxon poem is original, a summoning-song in close harmony for two voices.
“Aváldr Veit” by Lucien de Pontivy
A Processional for Aváldr on the occasion of his elevation to the Order of the Chivalry.
——— LYRICS ————
I am a carver of treen for good custom
Serving the crown with my heart and my hands
A spoon or a bowl or a small axe of maple
Are the harvest I tithe, are the wealth of my lands
When trumpets called morning I laid down my carving
Fashioned my plowshare back into a sword
With one kiss for luck, and another for courage,
I armored up; then I was gone to the war
The hands in my gauntlets hold a lover and children
The hands in my gauntlets are fashioned to pray
But I’ll fight for honor, and I’ll fight for love
And I’ll follow my King into battle today
Swords from the West they came on twice our number, and
Over the East rang the voice of our King
For him we were myrmidons, giants, and tygers, and
All through the valley you could hear us all sing
(Chorus, with “our”)
The day brought us victory, ripe for the singing,
Though I returned limping to hearth and to farm
A child at the gate bore an axe made of maple
With one brave salute, she ran straight to my arms
O viridissima virga, ave,
que in ventoso flabro sciscitationis
O viridissima virga,
Cum venit tempus
quod tu florusti in ramis tuis,
ave, ave fuit tibi,
quia calor solis in te sudavit
sicut odor balsami.
Nam in te flourit pulcher flos
qui odorem dedit
Protulerunt, et quoniam volucres celi
Nunc autem laus sit altissimo
(C)When dispute threatens the great Leven Loch
(F)And good Saint Robert cries, “och, Meggie, och!”
(G)Lords and Ladies, let noblesse oblige be your (F)teacher
(G)As you gaze on the weakest, the meekest, the sweetest of (F)creatures…
(C)Who (F)will (G)speak for the (C)sheep?
(G)When (F)great houses (C)battle, who (F)speaks for the cattle?
(C)Who (F)will (G)speak for the (C)sheep?
(Dm)Their little hearts break for the beating,
(Em)And their voices expire for the bleating,
Tell me (C)who will (F)speak for the (C)sheep?
Sheep don’t know the terrors of war
They don’t read history… (well, who does anymore?)
Wooly ears hanging low trotting in to their beds
Getting stuffed into cannons? No! Losing their heads!
Who will speak for the sheep?
(Dm) Longing for the taste of tender green grasses
(Em)The cool breeze is the balm for the brands on their… delicate hindquarters
(C) Who will (F)speak for the (C)sheep?
by Lucien de Pontivy, drawn from Beowulf
|Old English||Modern English|
|Hwæt! We Eást-thegns / in geardagum,
þeodcyninga, / þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas / ellen fremedon.
|Listen! We have heard / of the East-thanes glory,
in the old days / the kings of tribes –
how noble princes / showed great courage!
|Aledon þa / leofne þeoden,
beaga bryttan, / on bearm bǽl-fýres
|They laid down the king / they had dearly loved
their tall ring-giver, / in the center of the bier.
|Sin ge-swegra / weg-gomen com.||His cousin / came to the tourney.
|Eodon him þa togeanes, / gode þancodon,
ferþ-grim þegna heáp, / ferhþum fægne
|They clustered around him, / his thanes
Fierce in battle / happy in their hearts
|Tomas Hrafn-hyll maðelode, / on him tohte scan
Aras ða bi ronde / rof oretta,
heard under helme, / hiorosercean bær
|Thomas Ravenhill spoke, / gleaming from battle|
The famous champion / stood up with his shield
brave behind helmet / in hard war-shirt
|“Eart þu se Essex, / se þe wið Edward wunne?”||“Are you the same Essex / who challenged Edward?”
|Kenric maþelode, / “Na! Ge-swegra ic beo!”||Kenric replied, / “No! I’m his cousin!”
|æfter þæm wordum / weorold-cempa leod
efste mid elne, / nalas ondsware
bidan wolde; / wig-wylm onfeng
|After these words / the warrior of the world
turned boldly / would not wait
for answer / surging battle enfolded them.
|Swa mec gelome / leód-mægen
þreatedon þearle / þryðswyðe ecgþræce
Kenric gemærunge gemacode / mægenræs forgeaf
hildebille, / Hrafn-hylle cwellede.
|Again and again / the champions
made fierce attacks / with violent swordplay.
Kenric finished it. / He put his whole force
behind his sword-edge, / killed Ravenhill.
|þa wæs Essex / heresped gyfen,
wig-gomen weorð-mynd, / þæt him his winemagas
ágirnon hyrdon. / Eode Avelina forð,
cwen Kenrices / cynna gemyndig,
|Then Essex was given / victory in battle
such honor in the tourney / that the men of his house
eagerly served him / Avelina came forward
Kenric’s queen, / mindful of courtesies;
|“Bruc ðisses cyne-rice, / Kenric leofa,
cen þec mid cræfte / ond þyssum cyn-ren
wes lara liðe; / Wes þenden þu lifige,
|“Enjoy this kingdom / the treasure of a people.
Make known your strength, yet be / to these common-folk
gentle in counsel. / While you may live,
be happy, O prince!”
|þæt wæs god cyning!||That was great king-ship!
by Myra Hope Eskridge (c)2013
mahtigen khuning bi-queman
skoni kunigin bi-queman
inan de mihil de mihil maht
in unsen lant eristo anti meisto
ubar scultira isi pelliz des heiz-wurm
der ostan khuning kreftig anti virinlih
die kunigin skoni and wisi
wonen innarunhalb unser waltant lango
The highest King is coming
The beautiful Queen is coming
With great might
first and greatest in our land
Shoulders mantled in dragon’s pelt
The strong and fearsome Eastern King
The clever and beautiful Queen
May they abide and rule our lands for all time
1. Veitztu hvé hǫggva skal? (Aváldr veit)
2. Veitztu hvé fá vefja skal? (Aváldr veit)
3. Veitztu hvé þjóna skal? (Aváldr veit)
4. Veitztu hvé rísta stafi skal? (Aváldr veit)
5. Veitztu hvé steinabrú smíða skal? (Aváldr veit)
6. Veitztu hvé verðr bǫrnvinr? (Aváldr veit)
7. Veitztu hvé standi heitfastr skal? (Aváldr veit)
8. Veitztu hvé ráða skal? (Aváldr veit)
9. Veitztu hvé ðegia skal? (Aváldr veit)
10. Veitztu hvé smíða mjǫð skal? (Aváldr veit)
1. Do you know how one must strike? (Aváldr knows)
2. Do you know how one must paint a shield? (Aváldr knows)
3. Do you know how one must serve? (Aváldr knows)
4. Do you know how one must carve staves? (Aváldr knows)
5. Do you know how one must build a bridge of stones? (Aváldr knows)
6. Do you know how one becomes friend to children? (Aváldr knows)
7. Do you know how one must stand oath-firm? (Aváldr knows)
8. Do you know how one must counsel? (Aváldr knows)
9. Do you know how one must be silent? (Aváldr knows)
10. Do you know how one must make mead? (Aváldr knows)
From Óðinn’s Rune-verses in the Hávamalá. Writ with gracious assistance from Lady Aildreda de Tamwurthe, Sir Michael of York, and Master Fridrikr Tomasson.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
(Basically, that means: take it, sing it, change it if you like, BUT attribute it, and don’t make money off of it without negotiating with me first.)