Songs from The St. Brigid Suite

 

Duet for Mother and Child

 

Fear is a valley between us.

Shall we overcome its death?

Faith is the voice that calls us.

Faith will be our breath.

Slavery is a vortex between us.

Shall we brave the tide?

Hope is the hand that beckons.

Hope will be our guide.

Love is the light that sustains us,

The force that upholds us,

The source of our energy.

Grace is the guard that defends us,

The force that restores us,

The source of our liberty;

For our light is the love that transcends.

Hate is a mountain before us.

Shall we scale the height?

Love is the lamp that leads us.

Love will be our light.

Doom is a chasm between us.

Shall we span the breach?

Gloom is the darkness between us.

Shall we face the night?

The love of God is our well of life.

The grace of God to us descends.

The love of God is a fountain of light.

The grace of God for us ascends;

And our light is the love that transcends,

Is the love that transcends.

Freedom is a current between us.

Shall we ride the wave?

God’s is the hand that beckons.

God will be our guide.

Freedom is a river between us.

Shall we swim the tide?

God’s is the hand that beckons.

God will be our guide.

 

Face in the Mirror

 

Enclosed within an embrace of brass

The sinews of my soul are sketched

Upon this face of glass.

Between the future and the past

The longings of my heart are lost

Within this silver cast.

Face in the mirror, can you see me?

Can you tell me if I’m really what I seem?

Am I the picture of perfection

Or merely the reflection of a dream?

Bordered by a burnished lace

Secrets of my youth abound

Behind this cryptic space.

Misplaced in time that is no more

My spirit roams metallic shadows

Beyond oblivion’s door.

Face in the mirror, can you see me?

Can you tell me if I’m really what I seem?

Am I a picture of perfection

Or merely the reflection of a dream?

I cast my hopes into the well,

A stone thrown wildly in the lake

That laps the shores of hell.

With shattered crystal like a knife

I shall carve the words of woe

Upon the pages of my life.

Face in the mirror, can you see me?

Can you tell me if I’m really what I seem?

Am I a picture of perfection

Or merely the reflection of a dream?

 

Hymn to the Forest Gods

 

Come to the forest at the throne of the sky

through the pathways of nature where the star-gods fly.

Open your hearts to the songs of the trees.

Open your souls to the sonnet of the lees.

Come to the grove where our ancestors sleep.

Come to the cove where flower-maidens reap

the harvest of heaven, the fruit of perception;

where the sun forever dances in the dream of his season.

Come to the brake of the wolf and the lion.

Come to the keep of the princes of Orion.

Upon the hearth of the cosmic fire

the flames of our mass will sing forever.

Now is the time of the oak and the willow.

Now is the hour of the hawk and the sparrow.

The gods of the forest encircle us here

among the holts for our hallowed new year.

 

The Day of My Destiny

 

A blaze of light through the oak glen breaks.

My body, my soul are one with its radiance.

The wings of a dove sweep the sky with their strokes.

My spirit takes flight with their aerial dance.

This is the heart of serenity,

the dreams of childhood, the light of love.

This is the day of my destiny,

born in the star-streams, borne by the sunbeams above.

A mystical voice through the birdsong speaks.

My essence, my senses are filled with rapture.

The music of mirth the mother tongue makes.

The wind in the wood resonates with laughter.

This is the nature of ecstasy,

the dreams of childhood, the light of love.

This is the day of my destiny,

born in the star-streams, borne by the sunbeams above.

A ray of light from the vision flows.

My life, my world are one with its brilliance.

The leaves of the oak brush the sky with their boughs.

My spirit abounds with their ancient sun dance.

Images of children appear in a cloud,

embraced by women who are clothed in white.

Below their feet twin rainbows are bowed.

Above their heads shine circles of light.

This is the face of divinity,

the dreams of childhood, the light of love.

This is the day of my destiny,

born in the star-streams, borne on the sunbeams above.

 

Bells and Butter

 

Fire the forge with the flames of Heaven

Cast the bell for the earth-bound ear.

A heart of joy is the gift that’s given

By the Spirit freely singing

Silver songs for all to hear

Fill the urn with the milk of Zion.

Churn the butter with songs of mirth.

The fruit of clover is the gift that’s given

By the Spirit freely yielding

The cream of Kerry, the essence of earth.

Fire the forge…

Fill the urn…

The bell to cast.

The butter to churn.

The gift of the Spirit is life with peace,

Our labors of love humbly to increase.

Weave the cloth on the loom of Heaven.

Spin the yarn with the thread of life.

A vision of bliss is the gift that’s given

By the Spirit gently whirling

Through the maze of human strife.

Fill the quill with the ink of Zion.

Seal God’s grace upon the leaf.

A glimpse of light is the gift that’s given

By the Spirit volunteering

Freedom’s hand to human grief.

Color the cloth…

Gild the page…

For all to know.

Throughout the age.

The gift of the Spirit is life with peace,

Our labors of love humbly to increase.

 

*Unbroken Silence

 

Lo, unbroken silence, I adore thee.

Forsake me not during my time of prayer.

Guardian angels, convene around me.

Lord, humbly my heart pleads solely to be

safe by your side through eternity there.

Lo, unbroken silence, I adore thee.

Traveling onward, cloaked by a desert sea,

into the sky but for a sign I stare.

Guardian angels convene around me.

Utter stillness of the night, come free me.

Starlight, guide me across the sand so bare.

Lo, unbroken silence, I adore thee.

Dedicated to the Holy Trinity,

this fervent journey by moonlight I dare.

Guardian angels, convene around me.

Shimmering dreams foretell that I may see

the path God has chosen for me with such care.

Lo, unbroken silence, I adore thee.

Guardian angels convene around me.

 

The Song of St. Brigid

 

Here in my hand the power lies

to change the universe,

to plant the earth and plot the stars,

injustice to disperse;

but without sheer hope to follow

all my efforts are in vain.

Without hope there is no tomorrow,

and sorrow has no end.

Within my heart the strength resides

to conquer all my fears,

surpassing mortal fallacies

that turn laughter into tears;

but without sure faith to follow

all my struggles are in vain.

Without faith there is no tomorrow,

and sorrow has no end.

Within my soul the knowledge dwells

to bring peace upon the earth,

a balm to the gaping wound of death

and joy to the pain of birth;

but without true love to follow

all my labors are in vain.

Without love there is no tomorrow,

and sorrow has no end.

 

(lyrics by John Marshall – music by Barbara Gallagher)

© 1994 Marshall-Gallagher

 

*Unbroken Silence - Lyrics by John Marshall

and Elizabeth Wells