Rachel’s Song

Rachel wept. Gave a shivering cry.
Her beloved child is no more. 
Her loss devoured her breath,
spiked her heart, tore at her flesh.

Her womb a dormant elm,
that knows no Spring.
Where her child once leaped
a torn emptiness lies.

Rachel called to her child,
sang primeval laments, 
weaved-in hope beyond all thought,
sought rhythmic words to soften her soul,
wept a waulking song:

‘Sorchar nan Ruel 
I magnify my saviour Ìosa Crìost,
banish my winter, this long dark night
reveal within wonder of Spring’s light.

Sorchar nan Ruel 
look upon my mournful state,
my pierced heart, my suffering womb, 
restore to me joy of Spring’s life.’

As tracts of time passed 
this song she prayed
till the beauty of Crìost 
took form in her face.
Ìosa Crìost: Scots Gaelic for Jesus Christ.
Sorchar nan Ruel: “Lightener of the Stars”,  poetic name of Ìosa Crìost.

Waulking Song: A Scots Gaelic song sung during the laborious process of softening the stiff and rough weave of homespun woollen cloth.

© Craig A Roberts, 2023
Celtic Advent

Photo: Adobestock
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