[Bards] Mede (Mead) of Honor

Peter Schorn peterschorn at pdq.net
Thu May 29 16:54:34 PDT 2008

Lady Catrin,

Your poem in praise of Morgan is well-done: a good thing with a good

Since it is a worthy thing, I would use it as a point of departure for
what I think would be a worthy discussion, which is this:

How much praise is it fair to give a child?  Fair to the child, I mean.
For praise is not merely a reward but a charge of duty, and it is unfair
to give a child the duties of an adult.  

To be publicly held to adult standards of conduct is perilous for
someone still in a state of childhood.  For this state is one of
learning, and therefore one of potential failure--of far more potential
than adulthood, for failure is attendant upon learning: you learn from
your mistakes.  But adults should not make the mistakes of childhood:
theirs is a sterner standard, with greater reward attendant upon
success, and greater penalty upon failure.  All our laws and morals
acknowledge this.

When Setanta undertook to replace the guardianship of the Hound of
Cuhlain with his own body, he crossed over the line from childhood to
adulthood and was thus awarded an adult name: Cuchulain.  From then on
he was judged as an adult--a judgment he lived up to.  But he had
already proven himself in a matter of life and death, and even then his
advancement to adulthood was exceptional and fraught.  And never forget
how he died, and died young, living up to the praise that was sung of

I suggest no answer to my question, for I have none.  I wish to hear the
opinions of my fellow-bards and other good gentles.  I know that
children must be held to proper standards, but which are rightfully
high, and which unrightfully so?  This is a fit matter for the singers
of praise to consider and discuss.

--Cadfan ap Morgan Godrudd
Pencerdd o Ansteorra (ret.)

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