Friday, July 17, 2015

the enchanted harp...

Beauty to be found over on Terri Windling's blog as usual - this time dealing with the myths and stories surrounding the celtic harp...just my cup of tea! It is such stories that inspired me to learn the harp when I was younger :)
My favourite tale I've copied below...


"Into the Woods" series, 39: The Enchanted Harp

A tale from Scotland's Isle of Skye relates how music first came to those lands. A poor youth found a strange instrument (a triangular harp) floating in the waves. He fished it out, set it upright, and the wind began to play the strings -- an eerie, lovely sound the like of which had never been heard. The boy could not duplicate the sound, although he tried for many long days. So obsessed did he become that his widowed mother ran to a wizard (a dubh-sgoilear) to beg him to give her son the skill to play the instrument -- or else to quell his desire for it. The dubh-sgoilear offered her this choice: he would take away the boy's desire in exchange for the widow's body, or he'd give him the gift of music in exchange for her mortal soul. She chose the later and returned home where she found her son plucking beautiful, heavenly music from the strings of the harp. But the boy was horrified to learn the price his mother had paid for his skill. From that moment on, he began to play music so sad that the birds and the fish stopped to listen. And that, concludes the old Scottish tale, is why the music of the harp sounds poignant to this very day.

Read the rest here :

"The Holly Tree" by Marja Lee

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