The one where the river flows ever onward to its birthplace, carrying the tortured history, winding slow with measured precision, to cast upon the ocean. Down where the sacred hills, those silent sentinels to the glorious but tragic past, keep watch in painful solitude. Down where the spirits keen and await each dawn with hopeful intent of peaceful morn. Where the lonesome, royal fort is no more, the ramparts trampled roughshod and buried underfoot. Where the memories of olden kingly splendor died ‘neath the invaders harsh heel. Down where the royal plain stretches, forlornly grasping at the distant, unreachable horizons.
Down where the stone of destiny sits in erect remembrance, remembering. Where ancient Brehons, in their colored robes, inscribed the laws of the common man in flowing ogham script. Where the magicians cast the spells of the Tuatha and conjured up the Fianna, the young ones, the ones who would fight to save them. Down where the sacred mound exhales the essence of all that has gone before, and inhales all that will ever be, the inscribed stones ever alive. Where the sun aligns in glorious magnitude within the cloistered, chambered walls. Down where the haunting, haunted battle cries beseech the blooded banks and echoes among the reeds and rushes. Where the lark soars straight as a fletchers’ creation, upward, up to the blue heaven, and sings.
Down where the final slaughter reached it’s bloody, brutish, climactic end on the plains of royal Meath. The old King gone, the planted pretender crowned with a foreign, alien hand, the scepter cursed. Where the blood soaked shields awash in the churning torrent, sailed out upon the reddened river. Where the fields absorb the crimson life force of the vanquished warriors, grotesquely strewn, dead, in furrow, bracken and tussock.
Yes, I have been down in that green valley.