Saint Nectan was the eldest
Of a twenty-four-child brood.
He fast became a hermit,
Lived his life under the rood.
For pigs, two cows was Nectan willed
And roamed bucolic lands,
Till sly purloiners dark one night
Removed them from his hands.
By turn of fate the men he found;
He preached to them God’s bread,
But lacking in propriety
They dethroned his holy head.
Off went the thieves to do more ill
While Nectan’s neck did bleed,
And were miracles never done, good friend,
His end would have been this deed.
But God’s old ways were far from dull
And so the good saint—he rose!
In hand he held the mane of his head
To carry wherever he chose.
Where did he choose, this grisly sight,
To lay himself to rest?
Back to the well where he once said
His prayers at God’s behest.
As drops of blood fell to the ground
Foxglove in poison grew.
Each step he took made flowery path,
And followers came, who knew.
Let’s not forget those wicked men
Who thought they’d done him in;
The one went mad, the other atoned
By burying good Nectan within.