Thursday, October 30, 2008

from The Flyting of Mongtomerie and Polwart, c. 1580

The following are lines from the poem The Flyting of Mongomerie and Polwart, by Scottish poet Alexander Mongtomerie; written c. 1580, it is an account of Samhain Eve's Wild Hunt (Samhain is one of two nights a year--the other being Beltaine [May 1]--when the veil between the world thins, and the Fae roar through the dark sky looking for trouble.)

I have modernized the language somewhat.

At the hind-end of harvest, on Hallowe'en,
When our "good neighbors" ride if I think right
Some mounted on ragweed and some on a bean,
All tripping in troupes from the twilight;
Some saddles on a she-ape arrayed in green,
Some riding on hempstalks rising on high,
The King of Faerie with his court and the Elf-Queen
With many an eldritch incubus was riding that night.


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