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.

Monday, 23 June 2014

T'Rowan Poem (or Oh eck I'm on' t'moors bah tat)

Background folklore:
In Yorkshire, the second of May was called ‘Witchwood(rowan) Day’, when rowan pieces were taken and fixed over the door, for the head of the bed and so on. They must be cut with a household knife from a tree the cutter had never seen before. It must be taken home by a different route from the one taken to get there.

A branch of rowan in the bed prevented the occupant from being hag ridden [i.e. having nightmares caused by the Night Hag] while a piece placed on the pillow kept both evil spirits and witches away.

This poem attempts to portray the antics of a Yorkshire man, of no fixed intelligence, attempt to use this tree to rid him of his nightmares.

Useful expressions:
Bah tat - without hat
Pop me clogs - die
Lass - wife
Go, t' foot of stairs - be surprised
A|fooar - before
To ride bear-arsed t'brat-fud on that - a knife or chisel that is very blunt
Fell, beck an dale - moor, stream and hill
O-erm - home
Befuddled - confused
By t'rack o'th'eye - without the use of a measure
N'matter - no difference
Tak - take
Any road up - in any case
Nowt but spit an glue - not very well made
Neither nowt nor summat - neither nothing nor something, ie it's useless.

T'Rowan Poem  (or Oh eck I'm on' t'moors bah tat)

I had nightmares, about an old nag,
After so many nights, being ridden by ’hag.
I were barely middlin, and gone t'dogs,
And were feeling that, I might pop me clogs.

Now I've herd that, a branch o’ rowan tree,
In’t bed will keep nightmares, away from thee.
Lass she'll go, t' foot of stairs wi dogs!
If owt like, will stop me popping me clogs.

Now t’ second of May, be Witchwood Day,
So I gang t'fetch rowan, feeling bit gay.
Then I gang down t’ gate, feeling bit pore,
T' get a knife, I ad’nt seen afooar.

Well I went t’ Jack, an ee gave me one,
A knife that is! It were all blunt an done.
I could ride bear-arsed t'brat-fud on that,
But Jack ee ses nowt, ee just grinned an sat.

Nah then I'm oft t'fells, t'find 'rowan tree,
So oft I gang, t'cut branches three.
Oft I gang over, t'fell, beck an dale,
If ever I get o-erm, I'll tell thee a tail.
A proper witchwood, growing from out 'rock.
By 'eck, it were champion, proud as a... thingy in't front.
Wi blunt knife in't and, I climbed up quite high,
I cut two fine twigs, by t'rack o'th'eye.

I bound twigs wi care, wi red thread t' form 'cross,
Of right equal length, then in't bag did toss.
Wi spare twig f 'bed, I must be mad as 'hatter,
It were same length, near as makes n'matter.

Well it's important, to tak new path o-erm,
But I only knew, one way back t'roam.
So I spun round, an went t'way I faced,
Befuddled wi hast, in't fells I raced.

Six hour later, I found village again,
Arf o which I were, trudging in't rain.
Lass she told me that, I must be insane,
And any road up, it were all in vain.

But over 'door I laid, witchwood cross t'rest,
When me lass saw it, she were well impressed.
"It looks nowt but spit an glue" ses she. Oh!
"It’s neither nowt nor summat y know"! Oh!

Thought t' give er ride, on 'white handled knife,
Bear-arsed t'brat-fud an back, but feeling rife.
I put spare sprig on, er pillow at 'head,
Perhaps t'night, I won't ave hag in't bed.

Copyright Andrew Rea Litha 2014