Sorley’s Song for Cillian

“Another soft, mournful descent of notes faded into the dark, and with the next, Sorley began to sing. Nothing disturbed the music: drinking cups were lowered, conversation ended. His voice, deep and slightly rough, told his anguish and grief to the night, to the stars, to all the world. A lament, I knew, for what he could not have…”

Paths Untrodden
(c) 2019 Marian L Thorpe
Sorley ladhar crop

Sorley, who first appears in Empire’s Hostage as a minor character and becomes an important supporting character in Empire’s Exile, is in love with Cillian, the main male character of Hostage and Exile, and has been since he was sixteen. Sorley is a musician, and as all musicians and poets do, he’s written a song about his unrequited love.

Paths Untrodden

My true love’s eyes are darkly gleaming

In candlelight and music’s lure;

One night alone, at spring’s fair dawning

To keep me longing through the years,

To leave my soul bereft and mourning.

You danced that night with grace unfettered,

A glance my way, a touch bestowed.

Your dark hair swept by supple fingers.

Too soon the day, the calling road,

The shaken head when asked to linger.

A long, long path, and distance boundless,

Years of sorrow and empty days

Till chance or fate together brought us,

So far from home, in summer’s blaze,

With war behind and war before us.

The gods and time have blessed us both

With love’s reward for all our years

Of wandering on lonely ways;

A respite offered for our cares,

A soul to hold ours, all our days.

But candlelight and music’s memory,

Dark eyes gleaming over wine

Revive that youthful love and longing

For graceful fingers touching mine

For kisses left at day’s first dawning.

My life’s companion loves me truly

My heart is his and his is mine,

But older love is not forgotten

There is, by fate, or god’s design

A yearning still for paths untrodden

You danced that night with grace unfettered,

A glance my way, a touch bestowed.

Your dark hair swept by supple fingers.

Uncharted ways might be explored,

Still dreams this wistful, loving singer.


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