Monday, 25 October 2010

I was a listener in the woods,
I was a gazer at the stars,
I was not blind where secrets were concerned,
I was silent in a wilderness,
I was talkative among many,  
I was mild in the mead-hall,
I was stern in battle,
I was gentle towards allies,
I was a physican of the sick,
I was weak towards the feeble, 
I was strong towards the powerful,
I was not parsimonious lest I be burdensome,
I was not arrogant though I was wise, 
I was not given to vain promises though I was strong, 
I was not unsafe though I was swift, 
I did not deride the old though I was young,  
I was not boastful though I was a good fighter, 
I would not speak about any one in their absence,
I would not reproach, but I would praise,
I would not ask, but I would give.

Cormac Mac Cuileannain, King and Poet of Cashel, AD 836-908

(As translated by Peter Berresford Ellis. From "The Mammoth Book of Celtic Myths and Legends.")

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