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.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Spell of invincibility


This poem is just a bit of fun, working with the four elements and four of the wights.

Remember in early Saxon times the elves were associated with positive qualities - Tolkien new this! Without dragon lore and the belief that they guarded buried treasure for an age such finds as Sutton Hoo would have been dug up the next day/month/year, (see the poem on this blog in Sept 2012). Anyone familiar with Tai Chi will know the value of flowing like water.  We know little about early dwarves Saxon but perhaps they were once good guys too, at least Tolkien went with this.

Spell of invincibility

Travel like an elf, as fast as the Wind,
Be a bright shining one, with him now twinned.

Fight like a drake, as potent as Fire,
Be strong of heart, soar higher and higher.

Yield like a nymph, as flowing as Water,
A fluid solution, all may thee alter.

Arise like a dwarf, as firm as the Earth,
Be to make ready, for thine own rebirth.

Copyright Andrew Rea 2009

Friday, 10 May 2013

Thou art Aelfscyne


This poem is based on early Anglo-Saxon elves.
The reader is asked to imagine the mind of a lad that has traveled to a distant village. On his arrival he sits down exhausted from the long hot walk and has a bite to eat, then spies a young lady……

Wifman = woman
Aelfheim = the realm of the light elves
Wyrm bed = golden in this context
Middangeard = the realm of man
Aelfscyne = elf beauty or as beautiful as an elf.
Wyrd = fate                        
Alfcynno = of the elfin race
Weaponmen = men
Aelfsiden = elfin magic
Gif thu waere scoten = if you were shot
Aelfadled = any illness caused by an elf
Smithas = supernatural beings that forged the elf shot
Galdor = a spell which would have been sung, from galen = to sing, compare Nightinggale =   night singer
Galdor-craeft = conjuring spirits by chanting, singing or spell crafting.
Aelfthone = elf vine, a herb which causes mind-altering experiences.

Thou art aelfscyne

The youthful wifman, Aelfflad be her name,
As if out of bright, aelfheim she doth came.
Long flowing blond hair, of the wyrm bed corn,
Into Middangeard, human realm was born.

Tall and slender, as a willow she be,
Brilliant sunny sapphire, eyes to see.
Wearing her long, aelfscyne gossamer dress,
With elfin enchantment, wilt thee impress.

Immaculate skin, and of perfect health,
She hast Aelfscyne beauty, as a wood elf.
The way of Wyrd, hast made her fare of face,
Is she Alfcynno? of the elfin race.

Alvingham Weaponmen, they doth admire,
Her fair dainty face, the best in the shire.
Forged with Aelfsiden, the magic of elves,
I think they want to keep her, for themselves.

Gif thu waere scoten, by her splendour,
Then thee be aelfadled, forever more.
An Alfcynno, or an illusion be,
Or hast Aelfsiden, put a hex on me.

With Aelfsiden magic, of elves to forge,
Didst the smithas spin, this pie to gorge.
Aelfflad fast of fare foot, and long in gate,
How I wouldst like to have her, as my mate.

A galdor hast been spun, with me as bait,
To be Aelfadled, surely is my fate.
Didst the grey beard, with Galdor-craeft create,
Or was it Aelthorn, in the pie I ate.

Copyright Andrew Rea 2009

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Elizabethan May


The poem describes village life from the eve of May Day throughout May Day itself.
I have drawn from some of the contemporary writers criticisms of the festival’s goings on. This poem was much inspired by the works of Prof Ronald Hutton of Bristol University
By the way, formation ribbon dancing around maypoles originates in the 18th century and is derived from dance forms in Italy and France, so is a modern import.

Elizabethan May

Young men women, and other married folk,

Run gadding to woods, and yon groves of oak.

To spend the warm night, in pleasant pastime,

Summer gives blessing, to those in their prime.

Forty oxen to carry, the Maypole,

Three hundred people, devotedly stroll.

Sweet nose gays of flowers, on oxen horn,

With branches and birch, return in the morn.

Back to the village, they doth slowly trek,

Mayday assemblies, ready to deck.

Hauling branches for, arbours and bowers,

The Maypole covered, with herbs and flowers.

From top to bottom, Maypole bound with string,

Painted with bright colours, for the May king.

Pulling on long ropes, they haul it up straight,

But amorous play, and dancing must wait.

Arbours and bowers, to be built hard by,

Raunchy summer halls, beneath the blue sky.

Bawdy fun in arbour, if it doth rain,

Only bishop and priest, might they abstain.

The lusty men, and their Lord of Misrule,

Hobby horses dragons, giants and fool.

Handkerchiefs borrowed, from their mopsies dear,

For busying them, in the dark with cheer.

Summer lord and queen, crown their love with flowers,

And revel with them, in summer bowers.

The pipe and tabor, make such merry glee,

As at a May pole, you would wish to see.

Pipers and drummers, strike up devils dance,

Skirmishing amongst, the throng they advance.

Into the church, like incarnate devils,

Jingling bells, like madmen in revels.

Handkerchiefs and flags, on the Maypole top,

The bawdy and lewd, behaviour nonstop.

The ground strewn about, with herbs and flowers,

Bears many a couple, in the small hours.

Falling to dance around, in the warm sun,

In times to come, prudish priests stopped the fun.

Handkerchiefs swinging, above heads like madmen,

Save us from rude, Hobby horses amen.

Copyright Andrew Rea 2010