Here I took the poem Invocation, believed to be the oldest in Ireland, and wrapped a story around it.
Come closer, dear friends, and I will tell you the story of the oldest poem in Ireland, but more importantly, how we first came here.
Long, long, ago, before the High Kings, we were the Children of Mil, and we had no home. We sailed until we found this beautiful green island. But there were already people living here: the Tuatha de Danann, and they were not interested in sharing. We fought them bravely, but they drove us back to our ships with their great magics, for the island knew their names, but not ours. They summoned a wall of storms to keep our boats away.
But we had great magic too, the great bard Amergin. And we Children of Mil asked of him: Say the Words! Sing the Song! Let the Island know our Name!
Amergin stepped to the prow of his boat with his lyre in hand. He played his lyre and chanted:
“I am the wind on the sea;
I am the wave of the sea;
I am the bull of seven battles;
I am the eagle on the rock
I am a flash from the sun;
I am the most beautiful of plants;
He thrust out one hand and shouted our name. The wall of storms fell. We came ashore and there was a great battle, but the Island still did not know our name, and we were driven back behind the wall of storms.
We begged Amergin again: Sing the Song! Let them know our Name!
And Amergin stepped forward with his lyre and chanted:
I am a strong wild boar;
I am a salmon in the water;
I am a lake in the plain;
I am the word of knowledge;
I am the head of the spear in battle;
I am the god that puts fire in the head;
Amergin knew that great power required sacrifice, so as he shouted our name, he drew a blade across his hand and let the blood drip into the sea. The storms fell, and we came ashore again. We fought like warrior-poets, but the Tuatha de Dannan used the power of the Island to drive us back, for the Island still did not know our name.
We were on our ships, and we were starving. We begged Amergin again, lest we all die.
This time, Amergin made a silent vow to the island that he would sacrifice what he held most dear, if the island would remember our name. And he sang:
Who spreads light in the gathering on the hills?
Who can tell the ages of the moon?
Who can tell the place where the sun rests
If not I?
This Amergin strummed his lyre one last time, and gave it to the sea. The storms fell, and we fought the Tuatha de Danann into a peace, for the island now knew our name. We split the Island, with us taking the land above ground, and the Tuatha de Danann taking what’s below, what we call The Other World.
And we remembered the Song of Amergin, and kept the Old Ways. Until the New Ways replaced the Old. Then the Saxons came. They killed our kings. They burned our towns. They left they towers of grey stone across our green land. And we forgot the song.
But we are the Children of Mil, and the land still knows our name.