Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Praise of Summer

I had meant to share this video in my last post because it pretty much sums up the feelings that the end of Summer conjures up in me.

Mawl i'r Haf

Summer in paternal pride
Begets the trees' pleasing shade:
Forest-master, wood-watcher,
High tower, hill-thatcher,
Regal ruler, virile member
Blows the world from an ember.
Summer, source of wondering words,
Dwelling of each spreading wort,
Balm for growing, in a welter,
Ointment, bewitchment of the woods.

By god! Blessed is the hand
That gives growth to branches hard!
Earth's four quarters are impelled
To generate, on sweet impulse
Out of the earth, verdant crops,
Birds that burst to flying flocks,
Hay meadows, blown by breeze,
Hives, humming swarms of bees.
Foster-father, loving help
Of earth's loaded garden heap
And webs of leaves, a leafy graft.
A source of never ending grief:
How soon August comes, the brawler
Who tears down my lovely bower.
To know that all this green and gold
Must depart in mist and cold!

Tell me, Summer, to what place
Do you creep to hide your face --
When you leave, sowing woe
To what country do you go?

Summer answers: "Poet, cease,
Lest your praise should turn to curse.
Fate invites me, fate repels;
Spring surrenders, autumn rebels.
I must grow in but three months
Crops enough to fill your mouths,
And when the rooftree and the leaves
Are bundled close, like harvest sheaves,
I must escape the winter wind,
And enter Annwn , leave the world."

Blessings, tuned by every poet
Fall on you, as you depart:
Farewell, king of idylls;
Farewell, lord of the idle;
Farewell, cuckoos fledged;
Farewell, June's fields;
Farewell, sun climbing
And the plump, white-bellied cloud.

Bright captain sun, you shall not reign
So highly; drifting snow will ruin
Your handiwork. But meagre hopes
Will plant a garden on summer's slopes.

- Dafydd ap Gwilym, paraphrased by Giles Watson.

Giles Watson's YouTube channel is a treasure trove of beautiful poetry, rich with Pagan imagery, folklore & mythology, agriculture and nature. Pretty much all of my favourite things! ;)

I Sing the Smith is probably the one that I love best...
Giles Watson also has amazing photography and poetry over at his Flickr account, and some of you may also recognize him from when his A Witch's Natural History was published in The Cauldron.

When you get a moment, go check him out. :)



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bek said...

Cheers for this - really enjoyed looking at his stuff :)

perma_culture said...

I really love his voice! =^)

nefaeria said...

I am glad you folks enjoyed! :)

Giles Watson said...

Thank you for featuring my work on your blog. I am so pleased that it is being appreciated! Giles

Giles Watson said...

Just letting you know that I have at last put 'A Witch's Natural History' together as a print-on-demand book: