“From the Well,” Rudolf Schweitzer-Cumpana, WikiArt.

Part 1: Athona, Child of Flame

Child of flame, child of mist, Celtic twins,
Athona and Agnetha, born of Druid priestess,
Ancient Gaul. Fables told round night fires
Differed as to mountain, valley tribes, no
Two accounts agreed, except for names,
Chanted aloud unleashed dark magic spells,
Two girls, mind-bodies goddess abducted,
Or as many feared, their souls swallowed
Whole by forces monstrous, malevolent,
Curing peace of sacred groves defiled.

Alas! Athona perceived voices within hearth
Fires, lost to living ears, old-earth tongues
Within smoldering coals, echoes of roaming
Nomads, salt cave-diggers, discovering buried
Bones and weapons, blood-spilling rituals,
Visions tween life and death, in feverish fits,
Athona uttered pagan verses aloud: “Thunder-
Fire shield, burning brands, torches night
Marching, hundred painted men, women,
Warriors each, death on foot approaching.”

Sips of willow-bark tea, Athona’s mother
Gave to fire-burning child, frightful chills,
Bound in furs, effigy of string, hair in water
Dunked, all to no avail, screaming, wailing,
Tempest-taken mind until child returned,
Cold collapsed, upon first dawning light,
Din of shield-words banging subsided in
Distant hillside trees. Yet, eyes of darkness
Awaited for fire-focused child, reciting
Spells, pillaging, death within its wake.

“Peasant Woman with Jar,” Rudolf Schweitzer-Cumpana, 1940, WikiArt.

Protection of night fires, whispers told of
Wildlings wing-watching, eyes reflecting
Flame, blue-painted faces, heads shaved,
Naked warriors impervious to hunger, cold,
Or pain. “Seen them we have,” toothless
Elder advised. “Generations of miseries fore-
Told, lands blood-blighted. Beasts killed not
By single sword, axe blows, death reclaimed
Fetid corpses, arms and legs hacked off,
Limbs fire-thrown, entrails wolves devoured.

Fantasy than historical fiction, this two-part poem of malevolent twin sisters is written more in Icelandic saga tradition
since ancient Celts had no k
nown written language or manuscripts,
instead relying on oral h
istories. Thanks for reading.  

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