Thursday, 1 October 2015

The Goat’s Tale

Puck Fair
Co. Kerry
(Where, in August, a wild mountain goat is crowned king)


The goat's tale

"There's magic in the Coolroe-stream, or pucks
weave herb into the browse to make me dream...

In Killorglin town I bowed before a
virgin-queen, who gave a crown to make me
king with vision over everything. Our
match remained unconsummate. For I was hailed on-high, engaged – though caged – in things of
state. There, phantoms, clad in cap and boot, waved
crooked sticks and mumbled strange in ancient
tongue, then bought and sold the living soul of
sullen ox and horse and colt. And at my
feet, the men danced women down the street, like
spectres borne on haunting notes of lonely
songs that sang of sorrows in the years: how
wanton maids, with torment-eyes, as wild and
green as Lough Lean's isles, and ringlets wrought in
purest gold, like wavelets caught in sunset's
mould, were, by their beauty, thus condemned to
birthing pain and living drudge. While boys, like
bumble bees, beguiled by nectar spilled by
girls, were led along a lane of toil and

                       …Now I wake-up in the glen, running
free of 'Orglin-men, to gambol up the
giddy scree into the cloud where Mother
Earth becomes the sky; and sense a life set
out for me, of butting he and tupping
she. Then see the visions of my dream; hear
the laughing of the stream; and wonder - why?"

Charlie Gregory



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