Bróccan the Bard, perhaps the most well-known traveling poet in the world, often used his renown to be able to approach subjects in his work that other less-known poets would have had trouble performing due to some of the taboo nature of the subject matter. However, because of his reputation and his charismatic approach to storytelling, Bróccan was often able to broach these subjects with relative impunity from would-be critics.
In “Just a Peasant Girl”, Bróccan tells the story of a young peasant girl who was enthralled by a local lordling. In the 14 line sonnet, he paints a picture that encapsulates the injustice carried out upon an innocent woman by a person of higher stature, aided by the social structure in place in the Saibhrean Isles.
Never one to explain or defend his poetry, it is not fully known if the sonnet was based upon real people. However, the words of the poem are still shared among peasant communities to this day as a warning to stay away from those of high birth, lest they end up like the woman in this sonnet.
“Just a Peasant Girl”Bróccan the Bard
Can you now forgive the wicked things that were done to you?
Is it something that you can find within your broken heart?
Blameless though you be, still the arrows found you as they flew
Cast upon you coldly from some killer in an ox-cart.
You were enthralled by the charms of the lord’s favorite son,
Seeing him riding by, looking so gallant and so fine.
Did you see the thorn in the rose hidden by the bright sun?
Did you hear the snake’s rattle as you treaded down the line?
Or were you ensnared by a trap meant to catch weaker prey?
Taking you in lustful grip, he promised you wealth and pearls,
But when he had taken what he took, he refused to stay,
Telling you to stay mute, for you were just a peasant girl.
The defiance you showed has brought about the bagpipe skirl,
Your soul cast to sea depths, for you were just a peasant girl.