‘Bona na Croin’ (Neither Collar Nor Crown)

‘Neither your collar nor crown
Shall I wear — my nose not brown,
Nor I some clown in your court,
In chains brought — a wolf to town.

By no oath bound to your King,
To my Gods alone I sing,
Grey shadow hiding from sight
To keep the rite from waning.

In red gold you dress these slaves,
What throne can forget Nine Waves?
In deep caves our flame I shield,
Never to yield to such knaves.

Collars serve to reign dogs in,
Quell their nerve with shades and sin.
Wild wolf’s kin such bangles scorn,
Free-born I stay, son of Fionn.

My brothers hunted, slain, skinned.
Yet still my cries ride the wind,
Numbers thinned, but still we wait,
For your hate, we have not sinned.

Now the lone hunters take heed,
Upon the Great Stag we feed,
Blood for mead. His death our life,
Ends this strife, stirs this dried seed.

The old packs come together,
Ties that fear cannot sever,
Endeavour in pride to stand
In the Wolf Land, forever.’

Ní Bóna Ná Coróin, by Robin Herne, 2012 Bard Song collection

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Stair na hÉireann is steeped in Ireland's turbulent history, culture, ancient secrets and thousands of places that link us to our past and the present. With insight to folklore, literature, art, and music, you’ll experience an irresistible tour through the remarkable Emerald Isle.