New Music: Song of Amergin

January 18, 2009 06:12

Song of Amergin

(Composed for my friend Sal Ferrantelli and I Cantori di Carmel)

I am a wind across the sea,

I am a flood across the plain,

I am the roar of the tides,

I am a dewdrop let fall by the sun,

Who but I knows the secrets of the unhewn dolmen*?

Who but I is both the tree and the lightning that strikes it?

I am the fierceness of boars,

I am the sweetness of poetry,

I am the most beautiful flowers,

I am the salmon of wisdom,

Who but I knows the path of the sun, who but I enthralls the sea?

Who but I sets in order the mountains, the rivers, the peoples, the stars?

I am the fire on ev'ry hill

I am the shield over ev'ry head

I am the ninth wave of eternal return

I am the grave of ev'ry vain hope

Who but I guides the sunset, announces the ages of the moon?

Who but I fashioned edges, enchantments of spear and of Wind?

* a megalithic stone tomb

(Poem adapted by the composer)


According to legend, these words came from Amergin's "imbas" ('poetic inspiration') when first setting foot on Ireland about 1500 B.C.E., and they marked the start of the battle over sovereignty of the Land. With the words of this poem, Amergin is actually "becoming"all of these elements, or "duile" as they were called by the Druids. According to the legend, it worked: the wind died down, Amergin's army won the battle and claimed sovereignty of Ireland .


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