Friday, December 24, 2010

Verse: 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

This is becoming a yearly tradition for me, to post this.  I don't usually like to repeat posts, but I do love it so - and find it to be quite magical - so I hope that it conjures visions of sugar plums in your mind.  I'm wishing you all the best on this holiday!

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

by Clement Clarke Moore

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Verse: A Yule Poem

Said the Holly King

"Take my staff," said the Holly King,
"for you are the victor this day, brother.

Your wand of Oak and Acorn
Strikes truer than my frozen canes of red and green.

But celebrate me today, one last time,
Before you begin your reign over the earth;

Before the tiny spark that timidly glows in the belly of our Sweet Mother
Flames anew, guided by your solid step.

Hail me with song, with robust food and drink,
And wrap your homes with my colors one last time in remembrance.

And remember, dear brother, that I will return,
When my leaves again are sharp and my face flushed red with youth.

I, too, shall reign again
When the light begins to wane."

December 21, 2010

A blessed Yule to each of you, and wishes of Peace for the Oak King's reign.

artwork:  "The Holly King" by Mickie Mueller,

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Zeus and the Solstice

It's been raining here for about three or four days.  This is a constant, slow, soaking rain that looks misty and permeates everything.  

My garden loves it.

It's fitting, corresponding with this, the darkest time of the year.  Since I live in a place that typically doesn't get snow, the rain is somewhat of a corollary. It's unfortunate that I might not get to actually see the upcoming full moon and eclipse on the Solstice, but I know it will still occur, cloud cover or not.

Zeus is the God of the Heavens - storm, sky, rain, thunder, lightning.  In ancient Greece, priests of Zeus used to dip oak branches (sacred to Zeus as well) into a holy spring in order to appeal for rain.  I can't seem to find what they did to make it stop raining.

What is the weather like in your part of the world?  What are your plans for the Solstice?