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King Congal’s Grief

 King Congal was an ancient semi-legendry king of Irelands north Lenster area known at the time as Taffia, afterwards Annally and todaystraddles the modern counties of Longford and Westmeath. This poem tells of the loss of his wife, how he found a new wife, and its eerie parralless with King Edward of England and Wallis Simpson!

King Congal was an ancient semi-legendry king of Irelands north Lenster area known at the time as Taffia, afterwards Annally and todaystraddles the modern counties of Longford and Westmeath.
This poem tells of the loss of his wife, how he found a new wife, and its eerie parralless with King Edward of England and Wallis Simpson!

Congal, the proud king, his wife a prince bore
Alas, in giving to her son his life
She lost hers, tragic the tale for telling
A son the King gained but he lost his wife.
What to him the tragedy brought, asked he:
Reason to him the reason could not tell –
On reflection to mind the Chief Druid came
Could the Druid on his wife have cast a spell?

Malignant spells he knew, he cast before
On other men, mortals, also on kings
Maybe on his pregnant wife a spell was cast
They were known to happen, such evil things.
The Druid, accused, his innocence protested
To no avail, judging him the king decreed
A year hence from here, the Druid he would die
The Kings revenge for such the evil deed.

For that year, the king resolved in his grief
He’d retire to a private hidden place
To be left to think of she who he loved
From affairs of the world to hide his face.
His people they were worried, a leader they had
But grieving could not lead, for a year whole
In times of danger, who’d give counsel
As the bereaved king nursed his grieving soul?

The Druid, innocent, awaited fate with grace
Death, it comes to all mankind in time
He would meet it with a smile on that day
Though innocent was of the causing crime.
Nothing could be done, no spells cast could be
To heal the kings mind, make him think again
His time now was nigh, he soon was to be
Amng those who havve lived before living men.

His daughter, a picture in her own right
She who caused from men admiring glances
Pleaded with her father she to the king speak
To save his life, she would take her chances.
It was forbade, for death must come to all
And though Druid was he, he was but a man
Subject to death from birth, and will of Gods
He had resigned that he’d done all one can.

Persisted again, permission to obtain
Hid daughter did, using reason and guile
He wished not to anger the king further
Lest he could kill her in similar style.
At last she succeeded as a woman can
Reluctant the father gave permission
Advice to be wary, protection too
That today’s derided as superstition.

She arrived in due time at the royal court
Some work as a servant girl she there found
None knowing her, this was easy to do
And she for a few days she hung around
Where the king he lay, face covered grieving
Only calling when something he himself did need
So he called her one day, she to him ran
And she done for him quick the requested deed.

She brought him water, as requested, so pure
As he her for her fast service did thank
She in subjection to the ground she fell
Explained herself, her fathers name and rank
His fate and woe, how he was innocent
How the king would not listen to his plea
Of innocence, for innocent he was
To die, and would make an orphan of she.

“Twelve days”, said the king, “bring me water
As pure, with as pure intent as today
Your request Ill consider in that time
Grant pardon I dont guarentee, but may.”
Twelvedays she brought him the water
From a well, that was dark, was deep and pure
Each day he looked at her eyes of truth
And he understood she spoke true and sure.

For where reason fails, beauty it succeeds
Not of the skin, but of mere flesh that is
As deep, but of the heart, understanding
Knowledge of this true fact as king was his.
So on the twelfth day, she again spoke clear
Her story true to each word as before
Her father he was pardoned by the king
He need fear deaths dark cold hand now no more.

As the Druids daughter she went him to leave
The king he asked her to please wait a while
He had one but more request for to ask
He said, taking both her hands with a smile.
My wife tragically giving birth died
No one more fair in Leinster could their be
Fair of face, of flesh, more so fair of heart
Of grieving her death you have set me free.

Your love for your father shows purity
Dedication, your life you risked it too
What bravery, honesty, rare to find
A thing some men would fear even to do.
Its not good for a king like me to be
Though he be widowed, to live on his own
I wish you as my new wife please to be
I know she’d approve of you on her throne.

The news it soon spread: “The king he was cured
Of his sombre widowed grieving malady
Clever druid, some powerful spell he cast
To capture the kings heart, set himself free
His daughter, a commoner, to be queen!
No matter how good the king was and proud
The people, Bards, Judges, Druids and Ollamhs spoke
It could not in law ever be allowed.

A man, his heart it speaks plain, true to him
A clever one listens, wise man obeys
The throne he gave up to his infant son
When he had reached maturity of days.
Married were they, and all they were happy there
People and lawmakers had no objection
She was no queen, but could not happier be
Who received the kings sudden affection!

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