All Their Voices

Words and thoughts in devotion to the Divine

Son of the Sea

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Son of the Sea

Your ship is a thing of beauty and grace;

it knows, as You know,

every splash and swell better

than the wisest mortal man knows his books,

or the most amorous lover

knows the face of his beloved.

Only You know the way to each of the Blessed Isles:

Tír na nÓg, Mag Mell, Tír Tairngire, Tír fo Thuinn,

Tír na mBeo, and Emain Ablach,

where there is neither pain nor sickness,

old age nor suffering, and where the fruit and blossoms

of the apple tree ever share the same branch.

And sometimes Tech Duinn, the house of Donn,

where the Lord of the Dead rules over all.

The ocean’s waves listen to Your voice;

calming to stillness or raging into destruction

at Your command, pushing onward

the ships of those You favor,

and sinking or sending astray those who

have angered You for any myriad of reasons:

those who were cowards,

the impious, the treacherous,

the greedy, the brutal, the contemptuous,

profaners of temples and groves,

defiler of sacrifices,

the unjust and the wicked.

The sea can go in a heartbeat

from smooth as glass to a mountain

of green-black death, billows high as trees,

valleys collapsing inward to crush ships to splinters

and men to masses of bleeding bone and pulp.

Blessed Manannan, clever and fierce,

prudent, brave, and strong:

You also are kind, taking away from this mortal life

those who have grown weary of it:

the sick and the aged, the downtrodden and the poor,

the heartbroken, the tired, and the lost.

Too, those come with you who would seize a few more years,

but that is true of all who greet the dead and dying

when their journey on the path has come to an end.

There is gentleness in Your smile as You

help them onto Wave Sweeper, ready to bring them

to pain and sorrow’s ending.

Someday I will meet You; some day,

when my last breath is spent,

when my tired body has finished with this world,

You will come for me, and I will take Your hand,

step aboard Your ship,

and settle in as You take me

to dwell among my ancestors,

to lay eyes upon their unknown faces with joy,

and take my place among them at last.

Hail to Manannan mac Lir, whose arrival

brings with it an end to sorrow and pain:

I sing my many thanks, Son of the sea:

I do not disdain your kindness, your grace,

but instead cry out in gratitude and love

for all the blessings You see fit to grant us.

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