(later a bog body known as Oldcroghan Man, in the National Museum of Ireland)


King of Uí Failghe, ritually beheaded for his failure to please his Great Wife, the earth goddess Medb, whose rain had been withheld for two summers, 192 BC.

hands upon me, hands of men once made to suckle my nipples like children, to submit in mouth and mind to me who sprung from kings, and I took her two winters ago, this hair and bone and skin bride who knows me for who I am, she of the white flesh, she who is small beneath me and takes my hands upon her with whatever force I wish, she who suckles sweetly and opens to me, she who knows my rightful place in this world, so of course I resisted them who came for me as a new spring whispers its dry approach, I resisted their hands upon me, for it was you dried up ten thousand cow tits, it was you withered a hundred thousand cocks of corn, and I was after loving you even though I am made small by you, even though I went in the sightless night to your bosom beyond the oaks and hazels and I stripped myself as naked as you and I drenched myself in buttermilk and lay upon you and buried my hands in your brown flesh and put my mouth upon you and I poured my seed into you and I beseeched your great sky voice speak to us, beseeched you open your loins and drench us to new life, but you were jealous of her, my true wife, you were jealous of who I am: a man, a King