3/13/2010

Kiss the Stone, But Cut the Blarney

The line started in front of the tower’s door and wound up uncountable turns to the top of the spire. Looking down into the ring of stairs made me dizzy. I had to keep my eyes on my feet and a hand on the rail. Slowly we proceeded, step by step, round and round, emerging at the top of the ramparts of Blarney Castle. The vast panorama of Eire came into view, lush emerald fields, endlessly checkered with hedges and stone walls.

The line edged forward slowly. Ever determined, Jan moved eagerly with each advance. Finally, we were there. Jan stepped forward. Two strong young men grabbed her forcefully ready to sling her backwards under the ramparts and over the wall. She would hang in space, nearly upside-down, fifty or sixty feet above the ground. They assured me there was no danger. A net of chicken wire had been placed ten feet below the stone several years ago to catch her fall.

A gentle blush filled her cheeks. Her hazel eyes dazzled with expectation. Over and under she went, lips pursed, ready to grace the legendary stone. I gasped as her lovely head and supple figure disappeared under the ramparts. She strained and stretched for her reward. Her body taut with with exertion, then suddenly relaxed. Beaming and bright, she emerged from under the wall having kissed the Stone at Blarney Castle.

She hugged me tightly and I whispered in her ear,


"Oh, what great beauty, does thou possess?
To grace this world with your sweet breath
To grace this hand with your gentle touch
To grace this soul with your discerning glance
To pierce this heart with love’s sharp lance."

Her silky voice, soft as morning dew, caught my ear, “Cut the Blarney you old fool.”
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