POEM: CAER SIDI
Poetry from the ‘Celtic Renaissance’ – one of ‘Six Celtic Sonnets’ written by Thomas Samuel Jones and first published in 1930. Taken from ‘The Isles of Dream’, an anthology by John Matthews.
Alone, unarmed, the Dragon King must go
To seek the Cauldron by a magic shore,
For gleaming harness wrought of wizard ore
Is powerless against an unknown foe;
The lonely Caer, walled with the flaming Bow,
Lifts dark enchanted horns where wild seas roar,
And in the moon’s white path a mystic door
Moves to strange music only Merlins know.
Within, vast shapes and awful shadows start,
While deathless gods who hold the way-worn stairs,
Do ghostly battle with a hero’s soul;
But at his eagle cry their thronged shields part,
And from the cloven fire the Chieftain bears
High in his mighty grasp the star-rimmed Bowl.
Caer Sidi is one of Six Celtic Sonnets written by Thomas Samuel Jones and included in From the Isles of Dream: Visionary Stories and Poems of the Celtic Renaissance, selected by John Matthews and with a foreword by Robin Williamson (Floris Books, 1993).
Thomas Samuel Jones (1882-1932) came from Welsh and Irish stock and was born in Oneida County, New York State, near the Adirondack Mountains. Each of the six sonnets reflects a facet of Celtic tradition. They were originally published in 1930 as part of the collection Aknahton and Other Sonnets. For those of us who resonate with Druid and Celtic spirituality, they are part of our modern cultural ancestry.