Conchobar and the ice sprite

Long ago and far away
amidst the mountains steep
a farming town prospered
in a fertile valley deep

Twas darkest day of winter
when the villagers found
three children playing in the snow
had vanished with narry a sound

Most were afraid to leave
In the hills the monsters roam.
Conchobar did them cowards call
And swore to go alone.

Tahai, his friend proclaimed
‘I will not allow you to.
Whatever dangers you will face
I swear to stand by you.’

They left at once and travelled fast
Through winds and snow so deep
Yet ever onward they were lead
by silvery trail of feet

They had not a second’s warning
before icy gale’s might
brought a boulder from far above
that swept Tahai out of sight

Conchobar looked over the edge
fearing what he was to see
Tahai lay some way below
clinging to a tree

‘Hold on!’ Conchobar cried
‘I will get you back somehow’
It was too far, he could not reach
The branch was cracked, soon to break

‘Go on my friend,’ Tahai called
‘let not this your purpose drain
for if you do not your quest complete
my death will be but in vain.’

The branch broke and Tahai fell
into the depths of the abyss
Conchobar fell to his knees and wept
wishing he were not so powerless

All alone and far from home
Conchobar laboured on.
Through snow and icy and gusting wind
And he desperatly wished this burden gone

Then through the snow he saw
the path ended up ahead
A cave opened in the cliff
into which the footprints led

Deep within the cave he found
the children playing in the snow
and sitting to one side
an ice spirit, all aglow

Conchobar strode in brave and bold
‘Let the children go.’ he cried
The spirit turned, frozen tears on her face
Sadness and pride in her eyes

‘Peace, warrior’ the spirit sighed
‘I meant no harm to them
For long have I your people watched
and seen what from friendship can stem.’

‘Even spirits have finite time
I will die when the winter wanes
Is it too much to ask for company
before the darkness reigns?’

‘Let the children go’ Conchobar did say
‘and with you I will remain
Guide then safely back to their homes
I will see you through your bane.’

The spirit stood and waved her hand
and the children vanished all
‘I thank thee for thy kindness
and compassion,’ the spirit said

And so through all the winter
Conchobar in the cave remained
Much he saw and much he learned
and too soon the winter waned.

On the first morn of spring
Soft light heralded the day
‘Remember me’ she whispered
and into mist she faded away

A hero’s welcome Conchobar received
when to the village he returned
Thou scarsely older, much wiser was he
By experience scar’d and burned

Many more years Conchobar lived
many things saw and treasures won
but his memory of the ice spirit
forever lingered on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *