Albion, Art, Books, mythology, Stuart France

The Shreiking Womb…

*

 

The Ulstermen were drinking in the house

of Connavor’s Bard, Fedlimed mac Dall.

Fedlimed’s wedd-woman, who happened

to be full with child, was also in attendance.

She passed round meat and drink and, when the

house reached drunken uproar, made for her bed.

As she crossed the floor of the house

the child shrieked in her womb.

The shriek was heard by all.

 

*

“Woman,” said Fedlimed, “what is

that troubled sound from your womb,

the weird screaming at your waist

hurts the ears of those who hear it.

My heart is trembling as at the

portent of some great terror.”

Fedlimed’s wedd-woman turned,

at a loss, to Carva-the-Druid:

“Fair-faced prince, precious and pure

crowned in glory by a surfeit of lore

no words of light have I to shed

for my fine wedd-man Fedlimed;

though ‘twas the hollow of my belly

that howled, and brought me to tears,

no woman kens what her own womb bears.”

 

*

 

Carva placed his hand on the woman’s belly

and the baby wriggled under it, “there is a girl

there,” he said, “Deirdru her name, she brings grief.”

Just then the pangs of birth came on the

woman… sure enough a daughter was born.

 

*

“O Deirdru,” said Carva looking into

the face of the little child, “much damage

will follow your high fame, and fair visage.”

“Kill the child!” Cried the Ulstermen.

“The child shall not be killed,” said

Connavor,“ she will be taken away and

reared for me. I’m weary of other mens’

wedd-fare, this woman I’ll have to myself.”

None of the Ulstermen dared reproach their high-king.

 

*

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