Monday, June 9, 2014

Columcille's Boat Song

Columcille or St. Columba is the Patron Saint of Poets.

Cut in the forests, swept down the two-horned Rhine,
Our keel, tight-caulked, now floats upon the sea.
Heia, men! Let the echoes resound with our heia!

The wild gusts swell, the slashing torrents fall,
But manly strength has force to tame the storm.
Heia, men! Let the echoes resound with our heia!

To earnest effort, clouds and tempest yield;
Zeal and unceasing labor conquer all.
Heia, men! Let the echoes resound with our heia!

Endure and save yourselves for better things;
0 you who have suffered worse, this too shall end.
Heia, men! Let the echoes resound with our heia!

So when the loathsome foe assaults our hearts,
Tempting and shaking the depths of our hearts with passion,
Let your souls, men, remembering Christ, cry heia!

In resolution fixed, scorn Satan's wiles.
By virtues armed, defend yourselves with valor.
Let your souls, men, remembering Christ, cry heia!

Firm faith and holy ardor conquer all.
The ancient fiend, defeated, breaks his arrows.
Let your souls, men, remembering Christ, cry heia!

The Source of Good and Being, the Highest Power,
Offers the warrior and gives the victor prizes.
Let your souls, men, remembering Christ, cry heia!


— St. Columba


June 9 is the Feast Day of St. Columba (521-597) — the Patron Saint of Poets. In his native Ireland he was known as Columcille — Dove of the Church — and Boat Song is one of three poems authored by Columba to have survived through the centuries. As one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland, he is credited with spreading Christianity in Scotland.