2016 12 02
Then Lugus stands before assembled crowd
whose faces glow gold from bright roaring flames
that light the feasting fall at dark midnight
and strums tall harp that rings like wind in willows.
"Hark to my good tale, Children of Belenus,
about his clever grandson, wise Abelius
who first planted apple trees in rich soil
he brought from lush valley where he was born.
His mother Sirona, Queen of the Lake,
gave him bag filled with small black apple seeds
and bade him walk along the flowing stream
and scatter seeds so apple trees may grow.
His long gold hair shone bright like morning sun
as wise Abelius walked on river shore,
and after he counted one hundred steps
he kneeled and planted small seeds in wet soil.
Thus wise Abelius walked from Aquitania
to nourish apple trees in every land,
remembering how his father, lithe Silvanus,
taught him how to tend sapling apple trees.
When young Abelius came to river vale
he saw pretty Litavis in long gown
woven with flowers dancing among trees
while sun beams glowed bright on her long gold hair.
Abelius danced in meadow by her side
and woven thick wreath of flowers for her hair
and on the hillside where white sparrows play
he kissed her lips and pledged his heart as hers.
But fierce Cocidius, warrior with long spear,
returning from the hunt with hart for feast,
shouted in rage, claiming her as his bride,
and challenged Abelius to fight for honor.
When sweet Litavis clutched his hand in hers,
she urged him with hope to run by her side
and hide in secret cavern from his wrath
and so they ran together through dark woods.
While leaping over stone on river shore
Abelius spilled large bag of apple seeds
and stopped to scoop them with his trembling hands
while frightened Litavis called out his name.
Forget the apple seeds, she cried in fear,
and follow me into my secret cave
where we can live in haven of my heart
and raise your child who grows now in my womb.
But when wise Abelius stood up to run
fierce Cocidius leaped down before his face
and thrust long spear into his beating heart
and left him bleeding on the river shore.
Litavis kneeled in sorrow by his side
and cradled his head in her loving arms
and tears of her sorrow fell on his face
as she gazed weeping in his smiling eyes.
Though you lie dying in my arms, she cried,
your spirit lives again inside my womb,
so I will name your son Abelius
and teach him how to grow lush apple trees.
Bright blood of life that flowed from broken heart
sparked all the seeds in fertile soil
so now one thousand trees with apples grow
rustling in spirit breeze on river shore.
And now you know how the king of our tribe,
clever Abelius of ripe apple trees,
was born to rule our land Litavia,
so raise cups of cider and cheer his name."
Accepting cup of cider from Epona,
Lugus raises it high to shining moon
while wild Belenians cheer and call his name,
then everyone drinks deep and howls at stars.