Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Nolaig shona dhuit- a Christmas poem

Nolaig shona dhuit!

Warm embers in the hearth,
warm memories in the heart.
The joy of children's laughter
and pine needles in the carpet for months after.
Hot coco and carols on the radio draw us in together
through long dark nights and winter's stormy weather
to share our gifts and reunite
the bonds of love this Holy night.

copyright Peggy von Burkleo, 2008

Monday, October 08, 2007

Peggy, or Song for Autumn, By Robert Bobby Burns

Now westlin winds and slaughtering guns
Bring autumn's pleasent weather ;
The moorcock springs, on whirring wings,
Amang the blooming heather :
Now waving grain, wide o'er the plain,
Delights the weary farmer ;
And the moon shines bright, when I rove at night
to muse upon my charmer.

The partridge loves the fruitful fells ;
The plover loves the mountains ;
The woodcock haunts the lonely dells ;
The soaring hern the fountains :
Thro' lofty groves the cushat roves
The path of man to shun it ;
The hazel bush o'rehangs the thrush,
The spreading thorn the linnet.

Thus e'vry kind their pleasure find,
The savage and the tender ;
Some social join, and leagues combine ;
Some solitary wander :
Avaunt, away! The cruel sway
Tyrannic man's dominion ;
The sportsman's joy, the murd'ring cry,
The flutt'ring, gory pinion.

But Peggy, dear, the ev'ning's clear,
Thick files the skimming swallow ;
The sky is blue, the fields in view,
All fading-green and yellow :
Come let us stray our gladsome way,
and view the charms of nature ;
The rustling corn, the fruited thorn,
And every happy creature.

We'll gently walk, and sweetly talk,
Till the silent moon shine clearly ;
I'll grasp thy waist, and, fondly preset,
Swear how I love thee dearly :
Not vernal show'rs to budding flow'rs,
Not autumn to the farmer,
So dear can be as thou to me,
My fair, my lovely charmer!

-Robert "Bobby" Burns, 1759- 1796, Scottish

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Irish folk traditions

-If a man drinks sows milk, he can see the wind forever.
-Pigs are reputed to see the wind.
-In Scotland it was unlucky to speak of a pig at sea.
-It is unlucky to shake hands across a table.
-When food is placed out for the fairies or otherworldly visitor, it is left out in front of the fire and at Halloween, seats for the returning dead were left around the fire.
-A Bridget’s cross above the door gives protection from fire and other dangers.
-In some parts of Ireland a pig would driven in the house for luck on May morning.
-A cure for mumps- the sufferer should be lead with a donkey’s halter three times around the pigsty.
-Boats leave the shore sunwise, likewise the net throwing.
-A boat should always be entered on the right side.
-A woman can never go to the fire without tampering with it.
-It is said that every night that the hens, when they argue among themselves before settling down, they are plotting to leave Ireland and fly back to Norway, but in the end they postpone the trip for another day.
-In the old days the women would sit on the left of the fire, and the men sat on the right.
-When the smoke dies out of a house it does soon be tumbling down.
-Soot, carried in the pocket, gives protection on a journey.
-It is said of a child thriving on his food that he "wants a stave out of his noggin" note: a noggin was a bowl made like a barrel with a dovetailed birch wood binding around wooden staves, one of which was used as a handle and stood out taller than the brim.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

A prayer of Saint Patrick

St. Patrick's Breastplate or The Deer's Cry

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
through the confession of the oneness
Of Creation's Creator.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgement of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of the Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the prediction of prophets,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lighting,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guide me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me ,
God's host to save me
From the temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today

Through a mighty strength,
the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
through the confession of the oneness
Of Creation's Creator.
-ascribed to Saint Patrick, Translation- unknown

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Song of Wandering Angus- W.B. Yeats

I went out into the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in the stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I laid it on the floor,
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossoms in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among the dappled grass
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
- William Butler Yeats

Friday, January 26, 2007

Winter Cold, an old Irish poem

Winter Cold

Cold, cold, chill is wide Moylurg*; the snow is higher than a mountain, the deer cannot get at its food.

Eternal cold! The storm has spread on every side; each sloping furrow is a full mere.

Each full lake is a great sea and mere is a full lake; horses cannot get across the ford of Ross, no more can two feet get there.

The fishes of Ireland are roving, there is not a strand where the wave dose not dash, there is not a town left on the land, not a bell is heard, no crane calls.

The wolves of Cuan Wood do not get repose or sleep in the lair of wolves; the little wren does not find shelter for nest on the slope of Lon.

Woe to the company of little birds for the keen wind and cold ice! The blackbird with its dusky back does not find a bank it would like, shelter for its side in the Woods of Cuan.

Snug is the cauldron on its hook, restless is the blackbird on Leitir Cró; snow has crushed the woods here, it is difficult to climb up Ben Bó.

The eagle of brown Glen Rye gets affliction from the bitter wind, great is its misery and suffering, it will get ice in its beak.

It is foolish for you – take heed of it – to rise from quilt and feather bead ; there is much ice on every ford ; that is why I say “Cold!”

Trans. Kennith Hurlstone Jackson, Author unknown, Irish, eleventh century
* A region in North County Roscommon

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pumpkin Bread recipe

With the rich color of autumn on the trees and the welcoming smells of autumn in the kitchen, here is a recipe sure to warm the heart on frosty autumn evenings,

Pumpkin Bread
1 ¾ Cup raw sugar pumpkin puree
(Or substitute one 15 oz. canned pumpkin)
4 eggs
2/3 cup water
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups brown sugar
3 ½ cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ rounded tsp. salt
3 rounded tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. allspice (or substitute with ginger)

Preheat oven to 350°
Grease and flour two 9”x5”x3” pans or three 7”x3” pans
In a large mixing bowl, combine pumpkin puree, eggs, water, oil, and brown sugar thoroughly.
Mix the remaining ingredients together in a separate bowl until blended.
Add the dry mixture into the wet, until just mixed, being careful not to over stir the mix.
Pour into greased and floured pans and bake for approx. 50 min. or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.
Serve warm or chilled, with mulled apple cider