How the blog works

The poems on this blog are mostly written on the basis of my historical reading and are intended to be both educational and entertaining.
Recently I have also begun posting some of my work with Anglo-Saxon charms. This work is somewhat speculative and is conducted as an amateur researcher and keen Pagan historian.

Please feel free to use anything on this site as a resource if you think that it may be relevant to your needs.

Sunday, 28 April 2013


The poem is set in preindustrial and early industrial England and relates to the May Day practice whereby young maids in the villages went out in the morning to gather flowers for their mothers to use as decorations for the festival home. The poem draws on some writings by contemporary puritanical opponents of the practice.

Young ladies to, celebrate The May,
Out early morn, finding a bouquet.
Their families' homes. to soon adorn,
Gathering May baskets, in the corn.

Young wenches with, young lads doth play,
And laugh and court, in meadows stray.
On a warm and sunny, spring day such deeds,
May simply be guessed, among the meads.

In every bush, a song be’est made,
The landscapes beauty, is now laid.
In some secrete place, within the field,
Young men and maidens, willingly yield.

Oft ten maiden, who went to the May,
Nine returned home, with infant that day.
Its best be said: ‘courtship bed and wed’,
Else ‘grass widows’ women, be thee instead.

In every marriage, it be’est said,
In Avalon’s fields, bed precedes wed.
Love poems, to mistresses be writ,
Before to wenches, they doth commit.

Copyright Andrew Rea 2008

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Here be Groves’


Within the Dane Law Lundr’(Old Norwegian and Old Danish) described a sacred grove. this word existed alongside the old English word 'land'. Over time Lundr lost its meaning and changed into Lunt, Lound or Land. This poem explores those names that can be traced back to the original Anglo-Saxon word for grove. There are far too many such places in England to do little more than just scratch the surface.

Here be Groves

Bright forest clearing, oak tree proudly stands,
Galdor songs are sung, in these ancient lands.
Assembled in groves, in tunic and hood,
Singing gallant songs, to lord of green wood.

Lundr Viking Old Norse, and Danish for grove,
Into sacred wood, with rune swords they strove.
Norse lundr and land, are not the same word,
But thousand years past, their meaning is blurred.

Kirkland Lancashire, hid from the Doomsday,
Does its round churchyard, Druid past betray.
Only one person, from the Black Death died,
The phantom church grove, on the other side.

Lancashire Lunt hid, from Doomsday Book too,
As part of Sefton, it had to make do.
Lund was its title, It was to rename,
Only this was a, ninth century name.

Art many more groves, hid in a place name,
Three Lounds in England, art found to remain.
Many suffixed ‘land’, did see Saxon rites,
Now old churches stand, on these sacred sites.

Copyright Andrew Rea 2012

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Here be wizards

Within the Dane Law the Old Norse word ‘skratti’ was used to denote wizard. In England the word became synonymous with devil or demon ,so it is sometimes difficult to infer the original intention behind these place names.

Norwegian wizard, Scratti he was named,
Awd Scrat the Devil, to him much was blamed.
Devil on the moor, demon in the wood,
On land canst thee see, where once he had stood.

Haunted Scratta Wood, in Nottinghamshire,
Forest uprooted, and burned out of fear?
Revealing Iron Age, dry stone wall compound,
Wyrd dancing blue lights, at night can be found

Cartgate in Cumbria, was known as Scratgate,
Carvings on church stones, did Vikings create.
Saint Bees Priory owned, Skratti Wizard’s Street
Its monks not demon, did Henry defeat.

Scrathawe, Scarthing Moor, Scratta can be found,
Preserved on England’s, landscapes all around.
Scratters and Scrathowes, Yorkshire’s Devil mound,
Scratby in Norfolk, his names still abound.

Long robed sorcerer, his spell now complete,
Blunting his foe’s swords, he did them defeat.
Preserved in the stones, set in circle round,
His magic lives on, his spell is still sound.

Copyright January 2012 Andrew Rea

Saturday, 6 April 2013

April (Eostremonath)


This poem explores the month from a farming perspective and draws from ‘The Good Reeve' an Anglo-Saxon farming document.
We know from Bede that in Saxon times, in April the spring goddess handed over to the goddess of fertility Eostre. From whom we get the modern name for Easter together with the fertility hormone oestrogen. This was one of eight major feast days in the calendar.
The two evenings when supernatural and magical powers were at their highest were: the eve of May (Walpurgis) and All Hallows Eve. Until the reformation it was common practice for priests to brew ale and sell it on feast days to raise money (however this may have started after the Saxon era).
Helheim was a cold dark subterranean world.
A furlong is the distance that a team of oxen can plough before needing a rest and thereby set the length of a field. The width (a chains length) was set by the area that could be ploughed in a day. The area defined by a furlong times a chain became an acre.

April (Eostremonath)

Anglo-Saxon, Eostremonath,
Spring vegetables, we shall soweth.
Much ale be drunk, this Eostre feast,
A whole hogs head, brewed by the priest.

Goddess of spring, with sacred hare,
Eostre maiden, art young and fair.
Days art longer, than damp dark nights,
Sacred season, for thy spring rites.

Winter banished, to cold Hellheim,
Ivy quickens, its oaken climb.
Bullace blossom, budding on shoot,
From heat returns, forthcoming fruit.

Fertile spirit, of furlong fields,
Rises again, as winter yields.
With oxen plough, no longer toil,
As shoots spring forth, upon soft soil.

Fire on hill top, beneath starry sky,
Walpurgis night, powers art high.
Raise the great wand, in night time toil,
In wild witch wood, with maiden loyal.

Copyright Andrew Rea Yule 2012 reworked