Tyger of the East – Catrin o’r Rhyd Fôr

Mistress Catrin was being recognized as a Tyger of the East. Only one person may be so recognized and named as such during a reign. 

There was some conspiring and Thyra asked if I’d write the words for her scroll. I was given some inside information that Catrin had a strong connection to the allegorical play “The Marriage of Wit and Science” by John Redford, written in the 16th century. (You can read it here http://www.ancientgroove.co.uk/books/redford.html.)

I included nods to her arts in the theatre and mumming, in creating the Laurels vs Pelican’s event, and generally about how awesome we all think she is. I enjoyed referring to her as “Mistress Wit” — she is someone I greatly admire and am proud to call a friend.

Here is the scroll text that I created for her, very heavily based on the words of the play. I had the pleasure and honor to also read them in court. 


Friends, we thank you for these your pleasures,

Taken as chance to meet Our measures,

Speaks Brion, King of Eastern Lands

As Anna, Queen, joins voice and hands,

Give place, we say now for our adulation!

Give place, give place to earnest declamation!

 

Where is that Wit that we seek, then?

Behold! She kneeleth here, bereft of plan.

Yet, wont to help all, if that she can.

O Mistress Wit, how dost thou? What hath began?

Give place, we say now for our adulation!

Make space, make space for honest recreation!

 

Lo, know this artistic connoisseur

Under the name Catrin o’r Rhyd Fôr

Mark her dancing, her masking and mumming!

Amusement and puissance e’er coming

Her writing, her acting, daily and nightly;

Find more for the spirit than there? Not lightly!

 

Content us We may, since We be assigned,

To honor Wit and Wisdom that liveth, to Our mind.

 

She setteth not by fame, where We spy her.

She careth not what the world saith by her.

She setteth not by favour, whereby We try her

She careth not what the world saith or dareth vie her

She setteth nought by riches which doth show

She careth but for others as they come and go.

 

Indeed small cause is given to care of world’s favoring

When one walks her own path strong and unwavering.

 

When tediousness to ground hath smitten most

She doth quick up their hearts with joyful toast,

With such honest pastimes, sports or games –

Makes birds and leaves defend their names –

And not a one, with pastimes such,

Will be abused, little or much.

 

True honor cleaveth unto she,

Her devotion cleaveth unto We.

Projecting constant message of such sort

That We, for Our Ideals, not her comfort,

For their embodiment, We have brought here

To grant words of praise to Our love dear,

But also further, it is Our inclination pure

That before her own person, We may confer

Upon the lengthy deeds she will sustain

Yet ere We send her turned out again,

She shall to these fair duties be released,

In freedom, as newest Tyger of the East.

 

Beneath the winter’s early setting sun

On January 28 of the Society Year LI

In Stonmarche’s great Birka Hall

King Brion and Queen Anna in especial

Wish to their honourable council and then to all the rest

Such joy as long may rejoice them all the best.

 

Words by Aneleda Falconbridge based on 16th Century play “The Play of Wit and Science” by John Redford.  Calligraphy and Illumination by þóra Eiríksdóttir.

Antonii Machinevik – Order of the Chivalry

It becomes us, brothers and sisters, to begin the tale of the campaign of Antonii Machinevik, so let us begin.

Antonii, the joyful boaster, had traveled down many roads, but the path he chose, the narrow path of kinghtliness, began with his first dusty steps in the shadow of Mt Eislin. He proved that he could live well, fight well, and die well. He shared many cups with those he took arms against and praised them and their inspiration.

Antonii girded his mind with fortitude, sharpened his heart with manliness, and thus imbued with the spirit of arms, glaive shining, he led brave tygers onto the steppes. Out along the edge of the steppe is always where he burned to be, inspired by his clear view of sky.

Virtue is the gift of inspiration and so moved by his deeds and knightliness, We join him to the Order of the Chivalry.

The sun shines in the sky and Sir Antonii is on Eastern soil. Maidens sing on the rivers, their voices weave across the steppes to the Mists. Countries rejoice, cities are merry.

We, Tsar Ivan and Tsaritsa Matilde, confirm this tale on the 27th day of January, Anno societatis LLI in Our lands called Stonemarche while holding Court at the Birka Marketplace.


213 words

Text inspiration from “Tale of Igor’s Campaign” (Слово о пълку Игоревѣ.) c. 1200, from the Pskov manuscript, fifteenth cent. Translations referenced were by  J. A. V. Haney and Eric Dahl and Vladimir Nabokov. The structure of the text is loosely styled on the concept of the “bylina” – a traditional East Slavic oral epic narrative poem loosely based on historical fact, greatly embellished with fantasy or hyperbole to create their songs.

Calligraphy and Illumination by Vettorio Antonello; Words by Aneleda Falconbridge

Maunche for Alys Treeby

 

Image of an illuminated scroll bearing the words in this article
Illumination by Agatha Wanderer (Rachel Case), Calligraphy by Christiana Crane (Chris Hill), words by Aneleda Falconbridge (Monique Bouchard)

Funi kveykisk af funa.
Swa cwæð Cyninga Kenric on mode
swa cwæð Cwene Avelina on mode
gesæt þeir sundor æt rune.
Gemon þeir selesecgas ond sincþege.

Well-famed is this woman,
brooch-crafter, glass-melter.
She turns dust jewel-bright
in the blaze-fire.
She crafts her hoard,
gives with open hand.
She studies the crafts,
consults the masters.
She shares fire
with the people.

Now spark joins fire,
now glass joins metal.
Now Alys Treeby joins
the Order of the Maunch
and is granted arms,
Argent, a tree blasted sable
issuant from a base vert
and beset by bees
sable and Or, winged sable.

This is done
at the Pennsic Court of the East,
cyningdom Aethelmarc,
day tīen of Weodmonað
in the year fīftiġ ānum
by our reckoning.

Wyrd bið ful aræd.
Swa cwæð
Cyninga Kenric and Cwene Avelina.

 


Text with translations

Funi kveykisk af funa. (flame kindles from flame)
Swa cwæð Cyninga Kenric on mode (So spake Kenric in his mind)
Swa cwæð Cwene Avelina on mode (So spake Avelina in her mind,)
gesæt þeir sundor æt rune (where they sat apart in counsel.)
Gemon þeir selesecgas ond sincþege. (They remember hall-warriors and the giving of treasure)

Well-famed is this woman, brooch-crafter, glass-melter. She turns dust jewel-bright in the blaze-fire. She crafts her hoard and gives with open hand. She studies the crafts and consults the masters. She has shares fire with the people.

Now spark joins fire, now glass joins metal. Now Alys Treeby joins the Order of the Maunch and is granted arms, Argent, a tree blasted sable issuant from a base vert and beset by bees sable and Or, winged sable.

This is done at the Pennsic Court of the East, cyningdom Aethelmarc, on day tīen of Weodmonað in the year fīftiġ ānum by our reckoning.

Wyrd bið ful aræd. (Events always go as they must!)

Swa cwæð Cyninga Kenric and Cwene Avelina. (so said King Kenric and Queen Avelina.)

# # #

The text is influenced by portions of the Havamal and the Anglo-Saxon portions are taken from the texts of the Havamal. A facing page translation is available online here: http://www.anglo-saxons.net/hwaet/?do=get&type=text&id=Hav.

NOTES: Original: Swa cwæð snottor on mode, (So spake the wise man in his mind,)
gesæt him sundor æt rune. (where he sat apart in counsel.)
Weodmonað = August or “weed month”
Tīen = ten
fīftiġ ānum = fifty one

 

 

Laurel – Agatha Wanderer

Laurel scroll image for Agatha Wanderer,To all gathered We, König Kenric und Königin Avelina, now state our opinion on the matter of our subject Agatha Wanderer and her works.

As every art with which mankind is concerned must have an ordered rule according to which the students of this art must exercise themselves so that they can from day to day, and the longer the more effectively, grasp the correct foundation and understanding of their chosen art, so shall and must even the most praiseworthy supportive and gracious art of German tailoring, which was evolved by the most clever and creative women, such as pattern makers, weavers, spinners, sprangers, needleworkers, and others of wisdom both rich and poor, possess a fundamental code to which noblewomen and seamstresses can refer and learn what the ordering of the right and true art may be.

And as there also exist many and various sewers and scholars who perhaps regard wise words and views with disfavor, it has been thought necessary to set forth the correct articles and tablatures as they have been communicated to use by their ancient inventors so that one may judge, understand, and comprehend with or without fault, and what earns praise or blame. **

Therefore, as does the Meistersanger reproduce in song and verse, does Agatha Wanderer show what can be reproduced in cloth and thread, that it be recorded in the tablature, and that she may wear the wreath of laurel leaves as dictated by Our tradition.

As such, she is granted letters patent and will bear these arms, Or, a schnecke issuant from sinister chief purpure.

After the time of recommendation was completed by the Order, and with the full and strong agreement of Us, König und Königin, for the ninth of July in the fifty-first year of the Society was this schulzettel posted that all might see Meisterin Agatha be joined to the Order of the Laurel.

Semper ubi, sub ubi.

Kenric        Avelina

** here includes marginalia saying, “Because we are German, there must be rules.” 


Inspired by a translation of the Wasengeil’s Tabulatur, the codified rules of the Meistersanger of Neurenburg, Germany. Johann Christoph Wagenseil (1633 – 1705) the first researcher of the rules of the German Meistersanger tradition which flourished from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. Wagenseil based his Tabulatur on the documents from several cities who had formal contest-performances of this art in the Middle High German period. Late 15th century Nuremberg, Agatha’s home, was also home to one of these traditional song-schools.

Meistersangers were known for their reproduction of strict traditional forms, any deviation from which was noted as an error.  Additionally, these artists eschewed printed books and lasting written forms, so modernly the overwhelming majority of their works are unknown, save for a few author-composers. Poetry was viewed as a mechanical art, one learned through diligent study, wholly independent of divine inspiration. More technical than inspirational or emotional, these works were carefully crafted and those who crafted perfectly were well-regarded.

This is much like the work Agatha Wanderer performs with the reproduction of the Lengenberg Bra. Despite that there were likely very many of these garments, the existing ones are few. She is tasked with reproducing this item, without deviation from the prior form. She must follow strict rules in terms of style and material. She may not deviate from them for her art. At the same time, she must also face many judges who have differing opinions on the style of the item and how it was crafted, not unlike the Meistersangers who were formally and informally judged themselves.

Much of her art of the reproduction of much German clothing is like this, and while she is, at heart, a creative artist, in this area she has taken her creativity in a narrow, technical direction to excel at this task.

As a final note, the winning Meistersanger of the contest was crowned with a wreath of leaves, which was hung at the start of the challenge and given to the winner at its close, in addition to being considered a little more immortal than his fellows. It is fitting that Agatha is so crowned and thus added to the rolls of immortality in the Society.

 

Maunche – Seamus na Coille Aosda

Ri Kenric and Bean-righ Avelina call to their people to listen. Praise is the mead of those who make impressions. Spear-tall stands Seamus shire-maker, saffron-robed, armed to raid. A man of great worth, ceithearn* and crafter of Clan Cnoc Gorm, he walks the wood-lands in soft silence.

Tiarna Seamus na Coille Aosda knows all things which a forest-man should know, to weave and sew, to cut and fletch, to dye and work wool and leather. He bends the yew and makes for it a singing string. He fletches the arrow that feeds the clan. He sets the snare and praises the prey. He strikes the stone and brings forth sparks. He heats and strikes the iron to sharpness. He knows the trees both new and ancient. He forms fine things from them. He knows the stars and their directions. He sleeps beneath them in all weather.

Rare-gift giver, Seamus steadies new birch sapling, binds and props the eldest yew. Ceithearn and crafter, shares Fintan’s wisdom with all who fish. This day sleeve-wearers seek his presence, bid him now to join their Order with arms-grant given, Argent, a trillium purpure barbed vert and seeded Or.

In the fields of Malagentia, ringed with royal forest, the Maunche calls at the Great Northeastern Creach Rígh*on July’s ninth day, A.S. LI, at the Great Northeastern Creach Rígh* and it is the will of Ri Kenric and Bean-righ Avelina that this be done. And so it was done.


* ceithearn pronounced “Kern”

* Great Northeastern King’s Raid

** The little fire that warms is better than the big fire that burns.

Illumination by Lady Agatha Wanderer. Calligraphy by Mistress Nest verch Tangwistel. Words by Mistress Aneleda Falconbridge.

Scroll text inspired by the The Book of Anuerin, Cardiff MS 2.81.