Tag Archives: Yule

The End: a chanso

Again the end comes ’round.
The nights grow longer still,
and taint each daylight hour
with hints of gray.

A year is gone! Profound,
how time escapes, and will
elude our grasping power
and run astray.

Our clock is now unwound;
the gears of our great mill
have ground their flour,
and are at bay.

All gone, except the sound
of memories, that will,
with new spring’s showers,
clear gloom away.

Again the end comes ’round;
review again the bill
for the last happy hour,
and gladly pay.

End’s wreath is birthing’s bower;
born, a new day.

16 DEC 2010

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Hymn to Mithras

Praise for the sun born on this night
Praise for the coming of the light
On winter’s longest stretch of dark
We praise the tiny, faintest spark

Praise for the coming of the new
Praise for the frost, soon turned to dew
When spring’s fresh promise comes to all
We praise the fire that starts so small

Praise for the earth that slumbers deep
Praise for the world that finds, in sleep,
The dreams that feed brave summer’s deeds
We praise the hibernating seeds

Praise for the sun born on this night
Praise for the coming of the light
Into the dark and bitter cold
We praise the fire as it grows old

Praise for the present and the past
Praise for what fades and what may last
Beyond our sight, beyond our time
We praise the seen and the sublime

Praise for the future and today
Praise what remains, what fades away,
And all things living that will die
We praise the earth, the sea and sky

Praise for the sunlight come again
Praise friend and enemy, and then
For each day forward through the year
We praise the means that brought us here.

24 DEC 2006

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Yule Log 2004

The times when goodwill, peace and love
are praised are rare indeed;
and rarer still those instances
when thought translates to deed.

So in such seasons where these things
are found, take heart, rejoice,
and with compassion, grace and honor
add your hands and voice.

It matters not whose holiday
was borrowed, changed or nicked;
but just that at this time of year,
the bubble has been pricked

that splits us up in separate lives
and robs us of the sense
that we are all part of the whole
lifeforce experience.

So wassail, carol, hymn and jig;
let yuletide spirit reign —
for sadly, it may be a year
before it comes again.

25 DEC 2004

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Joy to the World (a different version)

Joy in the world! The time is come!
Let earth reject all kings.
Let ev’ry heart give itself room,
and with all nature sing, and with all nature sing,
And with, and with all nature sing.

Joy in the world! No tyrant reigns!
Let men new songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy!

No more let pride’s illusions grow
in wars that spoil the ground;
It’s time to let earth’s blessings flow
Far as all life is found, far as all life is found
Far as, far as all life is found.

To fill the world with truth and grace
We must make nations prove
The folly of self-righteousness,
And share justice and love, And share justice and love,
And share, and share justice and love.

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The Holly and the Oak

As the days wane short to midwinter’s night
and the Holly King, crowned at Samhain, rules
a darkened world in shadows without light,
the cold earth hibernates, waiting for Yule.

In the deep fetid sleep of seeming death
the spirit of the land is gray and slow;
and the Holly King, with his every breath
hides root and leaf, the living world, with snow.

His reign is filled with sorrow, lost in dreams,
as through the bitter, stagnant months he reigns;
There is no joy within his heart, it seems,
as mists and fog shut out what light remains.

Yet in these bleak and desolate, dark days
the child of Oak is born, whose time is come;
He is the future prince, whose sunlit ways
will strike a blow to turn the old king dumb.

There in the fires of Yule, his eye is bright,
and ‘gainst the Holly King he sets his lance;
the wizened old dark lord attempts to fight,
but soon must yield to Oak and summer’s dance.

Upon the field of snow, they raise their arms –
the fledging Oak Prince and the aging King;
and with a blow that strikes a deadly harm,
the younger seeks the crown, and wins the thing.

He mourns the elder’s death; then offers song
to waken the still sleeping, darkened world.
And with his voice, that grows and soon is strong,
the seed and root rejoice, and are unfurled.

The light of life now shines; the world awakes
and shakes the winter’s slumber from its eyes.
The throne the mighty Oak King then retakes
and sends his song to earth, and sea and skies.

20 DEC 2002

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Midwinter’s Night

The eve of the Yule holidays, the winter solstice, and a full moon tonight to boot (the Oak moon, if you gather that type of information). This evening I am thinking about the presence and absence of light in the world. Perhaps that’s an appropriate train of thought for this time of year, when the first day of winter implies the rebirth of the sun in the darkest and shortest days. The seeds of summer are germinated here in the shadow half of the year, and the Holly King holds sway. The great Earth Mother births the sun-child and the world rejoices. It is a time of new beginnings, a time of great thankfulness and a time for understanding the cycle of life and death, of birth and rebirth. For so many, the import of this time has been over-arched by commercialism, by stolen and usurped religious traditions, by plastic smiles and forced gift giving. I try not to wax cynical at this time of year. But it is difficult at times. As Camus once wrote, no matter what we think, the sun still warms our bones. And so I like to dwell on the promise that is winter – that the cold, dark and windy storm-filled times are necessary, that the batteries of the world are recharged so that in the spring, there is water for new growth, and the fallow land has been rested and is ready for germination.

As the earth cools, its prime axis slanted
away from the sun for its winter turn,
as the hearth fires are stoked and brightly burn,
the seeds of the coming year are planted.

This dark season teaches us of balance;
it is the time for the silver moon,
the hour of midnight that negates the noon
and in reflected glow gives us challenge:

to build in darkness new sources for light,
that feed not on angry, bitter fuel
but burn away our misery and doubt.

In this time of joy, we celebrate the night
that holds the day like a rare, precious jewel
and will, each new year at spring, let it out.

19 DEC 2002

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Song for the Green Man

Now, sit yourself down and relax for a time
And sup as the daylight begins to decline;
The weather is warm and the company’s fine
For the Green Man’s providing the wine

Partake of the bounty that’s laid out this night
For those that are hungry, the fire’s are alight
And all of your worries will be put to flight
For the Green Man is doing it right

So drink of the cider and whiskey and wine,
The scotch and lager brought in while you dine,
And toast to your unending pleasure and mine,
For the Green Man is treating you fine

Ye ladies and gentlemen, give out a cheer
For He that is born again year after year
Bringing the wildness of life ever near
Yes, the Green Man is buying the beer

So dance and be merry, and drink ye your fill
And let not tomorrow give pause to think ill
But trust in the Goddess and live for Her will,
For the Green Man is paying the bill

A toast to this company, to one and all
Your health in this summer, and on until fall
And listen to Nature’s unhesitant call
For the Green Man believes in you all

So, what will you have, for to drink or to eat?
We’ve all nature’s bounty, her fruit and her meat
Brought right to your doorstep, no don’t leave your seat
For the Green Man will serve you complete

So hither ye ladies, and gentlemen too,
And sing out the merriment all the night through
And make ye a friend from a stranger or two
For the Green Man is counting on you

Yes, give him your blessing and energy bright,
Believe in the wonders of love and of light;
There’s much that can happen, and most of it right,
For the Green Man is King here tonight.

01 AUG 2001

With the Yule season rapidly approaching, I thought it might be nice pull out a paean to the original jolly old elf, the host of yuletime present, the Green Man 🙂 I wrote this about a year ago. May your Yule log fire never die.

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