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.  

Maunche – Gideon ha-Khazar

The great poet Samuel ha-Nagrid has written,

“Man’s wisdom is at the tip of his pen,

His intelligence is in his writing.

A pen can raise a man to the height

Of the scepter in the hand of his king.” *

We, King Kenric ap Essex and Queen Avelina Keyes, attest to the truth of this.

It is with a pen that Lord Gideon ha-Khaza has shared his knowledge of fighting laws and histories of the Jewish people with the Knowne World. We bid him approach the Eastern scepter to be named a Companion of the Order of the Maunche, so recognized at the Coronation of Their Majesties Kenric and Avelina in the Shire of Quintavia on the ninth of April, A.S. L.

 


Illumination by Agatha Wanderer, Calligraphy by Alexandre St. Pierre, words by Aneleda Falconbridge.
*Poem, “The Power of the Pen” by Samuel ha-Nagrid, is based on translations by David Goldstein and Peter Cole.

Maunche for Christiana Crane

Maunche for Christiana Crane, given at Birka AS 50. Words inspired by and adapted from “The Pearl” – a late 14th century Middle English poem by an anonymous author. Below it is in middle English and modern English.

The gilt and gall wel knawe þys hyne

Abowte hyr displayed much gode work there

Se more mervayle by hyr hyne bygynne

Come, Maunche, to maid ful debonere

Þat in alle wyyes we now myght wynne

Christiana Crane, bryght and fayre,

Worthé fraunchyse joye and blysse hereinne.

As glysnande golde that man con schere,

I sette hyr sengely in synglere.

Grant heo armes, azure, a crane

in vigilance argent and a tierce ermine

and wel singe hyr dede once agayn.
Perle, plesaunte to prynces paye

Wordes clanly clos in golde so clere;

Oute of oryent, I hardyly saye.

Ne proved I never her precios pere.

Quere-so-ever one jugged letters gaye,

So smal, so smothe her hyne were,

So fyne, so reken in uche araye.

At Birka in the winter market chere

in society’s fiftieth yere

Þirty days in January it was seen,

whene set þeir names in fine ink here

did Brennan King and Caoilfhionn Queen.

The gold gilt and gall ink knows well this hand

about her displayed much good work there

see more marvels by her hand begun

Come, Maunch, to this gracious maid,

that in all ways we might now win

Christiana Crane, bright and fair,

worthy franchise will have joy and bliss herein.

As glistens gold that man has wrought

I set her worth as truly rare

grant her arms, azure a crane

in its vigilance argent and a tierce ermine

and sing well of her deeds once again.
Pearl, to delight a prince’s day,

Words flawlessly set in gold so fair

In all the East, I dare to say,

I have not found one to compare.

Wherever one judged letters gay

So small, so smooth her hands were,

So fine, so radiant in array.

At Birka in the winter market cheer

in society’s fiftieth year

thirty days in January it was seen,

whene set their names in fine ink here

did Brennan King and Caoilfhionn Queen.

 

Below are sections of “The Pearl” which inspired and guided the above text.

a

b

a

b

a

b

a

b

b

c

b

c

Perle, plesaunte to prynces paye

To clanly clos in golde so clere;

Oute of oryent, I hardyly saye.

Ne proved I never her precios pere.

So rounde, so reken in uche araye,

So smal, so smothe her sydes were,

Quere-so-ever I jugged gemmes gaye,

I sette hyr sengely in synglere.

Allas! I leste hyr in on erbere;

Thurgh gresse to ground hit fro me yot,

I dewyne, fordolked of luf-daungere

Of that pryvy perle wythouten spot.

Perle, plesaunte to prynces paye

Wordes clanly clos in golde so clere;

Oute of oryent, I hardyly saye.

Ne proved I never her precios pere.

So fine, so reken in uche araye,

So smal, so smothe her letters were,

I sette hyr sengely in synglere.

Pearl, to delight a prince’s day,

Flawlessly set in gold so fair

In all the East, I dare to say,

I have not found one to compare.

So round, so radiant in array,

So small, so smooth her contours were,

Wherever I judged jewels gay

I set her worth as truly rare.

I lost her in a garden where

Through grass she fell to earthen plot;

Wounded by love beyond repair

I mourn that pearl without a spot.

a

b

a

b

a

b

a

b

b

c

b

c
a

b

a

b

a

b

a

b

b

c

b

c

The gilt and gall wel knawe thys hyne

Abowte hyr displayed much gode work there

Se more mervayle by hyr hyne bygynne

Come, Maunche, to maid ful debonere

Than in alle wyyes we now myght wynne

Christiana Crane, bryght and fayre,

Oure fraunchyse joye and blysse hereinne.

As glysnande golde that man con schere,

I sette hyr sengely in synglere.

Grant heo armes, azure, a crane

in vigilance argent and a tierce ermine

and wel singe hyr dede once agayn.
Perle, plesaunte to prynces paye

Wordes clanly clos in golde so clere;

Oute of oryent, I hardyly saye.

Ne proved I never her precios pere.

So fine, so reken in uche araye,

So smal, so smothe her hyne were,

Quere-so-ever one jugged letters gaye.

At Birka in the winter market chere

in society’s fiftieth yere

thirty days in January it was seen,

whene set their names in fine ink here

did Brennan King and Caoilfhionn Queen.

More haf I of joye and blysse hereinne,

Than alle the wyyes in the worlde myght wynne

Whether welnygh now I con bygynne-

Fyrst of my hyre swete Maunche con mynne:

First off, the Maunche that evening welcomed me

‘Deme3 þou me’, quod I, ‘my swete,

To dol agayn, þenne I dowyne.

Now haf I fonte þat I forlete,

Schal I efte forgo hit er euer I fyne?

Why schal I hit boþe mysse and mete?

My precios perle dot3 me gret pyne.

What serue3 tresor, bot gare3 men grete

When he hit schal efte wyth tene3 tyne?

Now rech I neuer for to declyne,

Ne how fer of folde þat man me fleme.

When I am partle3 of perle myne,
“Þat date of 3ere wel knawe þys hyne.

Þe lorde ful erly vp he ros

To hyre werkmen to hys vyne,

And fynde3 þer summe to hys porpos.

Into acorde þay con declyne

For a pené on a day, and forth þay got3,

Wryþen and worchen and don gret pyne,

Keruen and caggen and man hit clos.

Aboute vnder þe lorde to marked tot3,

And ydel men stande he fynde3 þerate.

‘Why stande 3e ydel?’ he sayde to þos.

‘Ne knawe 3e of þis day no date?’

Pearl, to delight a prince’s day,

Words flawlessly set in gold so fair

In all the East, I dare to say,

I have not found one to compare.

So fine, so radiant in array,

So small, so smooth her contours were,

Wherever I judged jewels gay

Like gold that craftsmen work upon

I set her worth as truly rare.

The gilt and gall know well this hand

Like gold that craftsmen work upon
More courtly maiden there was none.

Than all the world could e’er profess

so sing well of her deed and thought again.

The gilt and gall wel knawe thys hyne.

The lady  ful erly up he ros

To hyre werkmen to hys vyne,

And fyndes ther summe to hys porpos

The gilt and gall know well this hand

To pen

‘The hands knew that the day was near;

That lord full early up arose

To hire men, and commandeer

Their labour; and he hires those

That juel thenne in gemmes gente

Vered up her vyse wyth yyen graye,

Set on hyr coroun ot perle orient,

And soberly after thenne con ho say:

‘Sir, ye hat your tale mysetente,

To say your perle is al awaye,

That is in cofer so comly elente

As in this gardyn gracios gaye,

Hereinne to lenge for ever and play,

Ther tnys ne mornyng com never nere.

Her were a forser for the, in faye,

If thou were a gentyl jueler.’

That jewel then in gems arrayed

Lifted to me those eyes of grey,

And donned her crown, of jewels made,

And gravely then I heard her say:

‘Sir, your conclusion is mislaid

To say your pearl has fled away,

That is in such a casket laid

As in this gracious garden gay,

To dwell in joy in endless day;

Never can loss or grief come near.

No pearl in such a casket lay,

‘Twould seem, for any jeweller

More mervayle con my dom adaunt:

I sey byyonde that myry mere

A crystal clyffe ful relusaunt;

Mony ryal ray con fro hit rere.

At the fote therof ther sete a faunt,

A mayden of menske, ful debonere;

Blysnande whyt was hyr bleaunt.

I knew hyr wel, I hade sen hyr ere.

As glysnande golde that man con schere,

So schon that schene anunder shore,

On lenghe I loked to hyr there;

The lenger, I knew hyr more and more.

More marvels to my sense repair

I looked and saw yet more anon,

A crystal cliff resplendent there

With royal rays of splendour shone;

And at its foot a child so fair

More courtly maiden there was none.

A gleaming mantle she did wear;

I knew her well from times long gone,

Like gold that craftsmen work upon

So shone that maid upon that shore,

And long my eyes did linger on

That maid, and knew her more and more.

So al was dubbet on dere asyse

That fryth ther fortwne forth me feres.

The derthe therof for to devyse

Nis no wyy worthé that tonge beres.

I welke ay forth in wely wyse;

No bonk so byg that did me deres.

The fyrre in the fryth, the feier con ryse

The playn, the plonttes, the spyse, the peres,

The rawes and randes and rych reveres –

As fyldor fyn her bonkes brent.

I wan to a water by schore that scheres;

Lorde, der was hit adubbement !

The splendour bright of that display,

The wood where fortune smiled on me,

The glory thereof to portray

No man could render worthily.

I wandered joyful on my way;

No height could do me injury.

As through the woods my footsteps stray

Field, shrub, and spice, and each pear-tree,

Hedgerow and stream and banks I see

Like gold thread shines each wooded height;

I came to a streamlet running free;

Lord, glorious was that splendour bright !

The adubbement of tho downes dere

Garten my goste al greffe foryete.

So frech flavores of frytes were,

As fode hit con me fayre refete.

Fowles ther flowen in fryth in fere,

Of flaumbande hwes, both smale and grete.

Bot sytole-stryng and gyternere

Her reken myrthe moght not retrete;

Fir quen those bryddes her wynges bete,

Thay songen wyth a swete asent.

So gracios gle couthe no mon gete

As here and se her adubbement.

The splendour of those bright hills there

My spirit freed from my side fate;

Refreshing was the fragrance clear

Of fruits, as though of food I ate;

Birds flew in all the woodland near

Of myriad hue, both small and great,

Cytole and cithern none could hear

To match a sound so delicate;

The notes their wing-beats did create

Made sounds of such sweet delight

Such charm no man could fabricate,

As here in all their splendour bright.

 

Christiana Crane was born July 28, 1315 in York. The daughter of a successful and well respected merchant, her family was mercifully spared from desperate hardship during the Great Famine. Many years later, her family undertook a pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela to give thanks for their many fortunes. Sadly, her family succumbed to the various hazards of the road, leaving her to seek sanctuary with Lord and Lady Fulton. As a member of their household, Christiana has had the pleasure of meeting many new people from all points of the globe, and experiencing their exotic ways.

Grant her arms, azure, a crane in its vigilance argent and a tierce ermine.

AoA for Brynhildr

In the Eastern lands ruled great King called Brennan and also his wife Queen Caoilfhionn. Brynhildr Amsvarsdottir had come to serve their longhouse and was sent to guard the land’s most precious treasure, the Queen. It was the fiftieth year, on the seventh day of nóvember, after Gormánuður but before Ýlir, that Brynhildr was called to the Crown Tournament in the holdings of the Hersir of Bergental. Because she had served with joy and abundance, she was given the right to bear arms, ____________________________________ and take the title Hefdharkona. The King had his poet and scribe make for her a ring of word-gold to be read and seen that day.

The linden of the battle-wall  

lifted her slender hands

to join the Njords of swords.

Shield-bearer now arms-bearer

Silver-goddess of the raven-field

You are worthy to hear an ode

war-valiant one, wrought for you*
King Brennan and Queen Caiolfhionn made their names on it.


 

Brynhildr is a fighter and man-at-arms to Sir Brennan, who has been a brother to me. I was thrilled to be able to write text for her. Norse sagas frequently used prose and then called out a poem of praise (or insult, on occasion too!). I used the same technique to do this. I had to edit mercilessly – the original wanted to be longer, but sometimes we just have to live by the word count. I pulled directly one line from the Sagas of the Warrior Poets, because I wanted her to have that direct connection to the past in this piece. (I try to do that with pretty much all my text.)

Below are my working notes to produce this piece.

(The longer piece)

In those days the ruler of the Eastern lands was a great Chieftain called Brennan. Beside him ruled his wife Caoilfhionn. Now Brynhildr Amsvarsdottir had come to serve the King and was sent to guard his most precious treasure, the Queen. Brynhildr wore a shirt of silver plates against which her dark hair shone like trees against the moon. After she had served for a full year and more, at the Crown Tournament in the holdings of the Hersir of Bergental. It was held on the seventh day of nóvember, after Gormánuður but before Ýlir. Brynhildr was called to court that day where she was given the right to bear arms

________________________________________ and be called Hefdharkona. The King had his poet make for her a ring of word-gold and it was read.

You are worthy to hear an ode

war-valiant one, wrought for you*   (31 in Sagas of the Warrior Poets)

The linden of the battle-wall  (the shield maiden)

has lifted her slender hands

to join the Njords of swords. (the gods of the swords)

Silver-goddess of the raven-field

from shield-bearer to arms-bearer

  1. Gormánuður (mid October – mid November, “slaughter month” or “Gór’s month”)
  2. Ýlir (mid November – mid December, “Yule month”)

 

http://oldeuropeanculture.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-riddle-of-odins-ravens.html

kennings:

Linden birch goddess

Holder of the king cup

Shield sister

Man at arms

And so the king bade a verse to be made for her

1,2,3, 1234 / Sagas of the warrior poets