He durst stay inside, on such a grey night,
When powers of darkness, are at their height.
Durst that he spy, the shady Black Shuck,
Though he be stout hearted, and strong of hand,
Dark elves and goblins, are roaming around.
Avoid grassy rings, on the first of May.
Just witches questing, for herbs of the hour,
Can bear such things, with their strange power.
Worts have magic strength, on the eve of May,
Carefully they lift, before first cock crow,
Growing in those groves, that only they know.
Collected at that, early morn twilight,
Blessed with magic signs, and spell casting rite.
Then taken to old hut, and made into brew.
To lusty maids in, their summery dress.
But witches in the, late nights early dark,
Wilt oft beat those that, get up with the lark.
Copyright Andrew Rea 6th May 2018
Walpurgisnacht is the eve of May Day, a time when the veils between the world of man and fairy grow thin. To the Anglo-Saxons this was a powerful spirit night, a good time to gather herbs (worts) for magic or healing.
Anglo-Saxon documents advise the lifting of herbs by the whole root ball to contain their energy. The best magical time to gather herbs was at a liminal moment, such as twilight. We have reference to the making the sign of the cross and singing of nine prayers or galdors (spells or charms that were sung) prior to lifting the herbs.
Gathering herbs without the use of iron is taken from page 5, paragraph 47, item 4 of the Lacnunga manuscript as referenced in Starcrafts and Leechdoms of Anglo-Saxon England.
Puckers (pookers) are supernatural giant animals that lead folk astray. Black Shuck refers to a legendary demon dog said to roam East Anglia.