The World Turns To Ice

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Musings At Midsummer

Sun-stone's kiss, midsummer pleasure,
Welcome all and some.
At the hele-stone sing and gather,
Every blessed one.

- Caitlin Matthews, 'Midsummer Blessing'

A Midsummer love-divination as described by Mrs Bray in Devon, 1838:

It is said here that if a young woman, blindfolded, plucks a full-blown rose, on Midsummer Day, while the chimes are playing twelve, folds the rose up in a sheet of white paper and does not take out the rose until Christmas.  It will be found fresh as when gathered.  Then,if she places the rose on her bosom, the young man to whom she is to be married will come and snatch it away

Over hill, over dale,
Thorough bush, thorough brier,
Over park, over pale,
Thorough flood, thorough fire,
I do wander everywhere,
Swifter than the moon's sphere;
And I serve the fairy queen,
To dew her orbs upon the green.
The cowslips tall her pensioners be:
In their gold coats spots you see;
Those be rubies, fairy favours,
In those freckles live their savours:
I must go seek some dewdrops here
And hang a pearl in every cowslip's ear.
Farewell, thou lob of spirits; I'll be gone:
Our queen and all our elves come here anon.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
William Shakespeare

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

The Abbot and The Fox

I was reading today about Abbot Moling who died on this day in 697AD at Tigh Moling, St Mullins, Co. Carlow. He is said to have had a pet fox.  Can anyone really have a fox as a pet? The wild and wily fox may be thought to have had an abbot as a pet rather than the reverse.  However, this was no ordinary abbot, he is said to have won a debate with the Devil, maybe evidence that he was as wily as the fox by his side.  He was certainly a man upon whom fortune bestowed favour.  He was out fishing one night and landed a huge salmon in his net.  When gutting his prize he was astounded to find a bar of gold within the body of the fish.  A good man at heart he split it into three parts.  He gave one to the poor, another was used to make reliquaries and he spent the third on good works. Hopefully, there was a fox who dined on salmon as a reward for taming a man of the cloth.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Piggy Revenge

Today we should remember Mr John Camden 'J.C.' Hotten who expired this day in 1873 at his home at Haverstock Hill, just north of old London town.  His claim to fame was the compilation of a dictionary of slang, published in 1859.  His death was believed to have been caused by his over-consumption of pork chops.  Serves him right.