Saturday, 31 December 2016


Who would true valour see,
Let him come hither;
One here will constant be,
Come wind, come weather
There’s no discouragement
Shall make him once relent
His first avowed intent
To be a pilgrim.

Whoso beset him round
With dismal stories
Do but themselves confound;
His strength the more is.
No lion can him fright,
He’ll with a giant fight,
But he will have a right
To be a pilgrim.

Hobgoblin nor foul fiend
Can daunt his spirit,
He knows he at the end
Shall life inherit.
Then fancies fly away,
He’ll fear not what men say,
He’ll labour night and day
To be a pilgrim.



When Diana lighteth
Late her crystal lamp,
Her pale glory kindleth
From her brother’s fire.

Sleep through the wearied brain
Breathes a soft wind
From fields of ripening grain,
The sound
Of running water over clearest sand,
A millwheel turning, turning slowly round,
These steal the light
From eyes weary of sight.

Little straying west winds
Wander over Heaven,
Moonlight falleth,
And recalleth
With a sound of lute-strings shaken.

Love’s sweet exchange and barter,
Then the brain sinks to repose;
Swimming in strangeness
Of a new delight.
The eyelids close;
Oh sweet the passing o’er from love to sleep.
But sweeter the awakening to love.

When Diana lighteth
Late her crystal lamp,
Her pale glory kindleth
From her brother’s fire.


Dum Diane vitrea
sero lampas oritur,
et a fratris rosea
luce dum succenditur.

Morpheus in mentum
trahit impellentem
ventum lenem
segetes maturas,
murmura rivorrum
per arenas puras,
circulares ambitus
qui furantur somno
lumen oculorum.

Dulcis aura zephyri
spirans omnes etheri
nubens tollit;
sic emollit
vi chordarum pectora.

Post blanda Veneris commercia,
lassatur cerebri substantia.
Hinc caligantes mira novitate,
oculi nantes in palpebrarum rate!
hei quam felix transitus amoris ad soporem,
sed suavior regressus soporis ad amorem.

Dum Diane vitrea
sero lampas oritur,
et a fratris rosea
luce dum succenditur.

Text taken from the Thirteenth Century Benedictbeuern Manuscript of the monastery of the same name. The Benedictbeuern Monastery was founded in Bavaria in the eighth century and is the source of the Carmina Burana.

Words: Mediaeval Latin.
Music: Katharine Blake.

Henry Van Dyke

“Time is too slow for those that wait,
Too swift for those that fear,
Too long for those that grieve,
Too short for those who rejoice,
But for those who love, time is Eternity.”

Henry Van Dyke


Ave Maria! Jungfrau mild,
Erhöre einer Jungfrau Flehen,
Aus diesem Felsen starr und wild
Soll mein Gebet zu dir hin wehen.
Wir schlafen sicher bis zum Morgen,
Ob Menschen noch so grausam sind.
O Jungfrau, sieh der Jungfrau Sorgen,
O Mutter, hör ein bittend Kind!
Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! Unbefleckt!
Wenn wir auf diesen Fels hinsinken
Zum Schlaf, und uns dein Schutz bedeckt
Wird weich der harte Fels uns dünken.
Du lächelst, Rosendüfte wehen
In dieser dumpfen Felsenkluft,
O Mutter, höre Kindes Flehen,
O Jungfrau, eine Jungfrau ruft!
Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! Reine Magd!
Der Erde und der Luft Dämonen,
Von deines Auges Huld verjagt,
Sie können hier nicht bei uns wohnen,
Wir woll'n uns still dem Schicksal beugen,
Da uns dein heil'ger Trost anweht;
Der Jungfrau wolle hold dich neigen,
Dem Kind, das für den Vater fleht.
Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! maiden mild!
Listen to a maiden's prayer!
Thou canst hear though from the wild;
Thou canst save amid despair.
Safe may we sleep beneath thy care,
Though banish'd, outcast and reviled –
Maiden! hear a maiden's prayer;
Mother, hear a suppliant child!
Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! undefiled!
The flinty couch we now must share
Shall seem with down of eider piled,
If thy protection hover there.
The murky cavern's heavy air
Shall breathe of balm if thou hast smiled;
Then, Maiden! hear a maiden's prayer,
Mother, list a suppliant child!
Ave Maria!

Ave Maria! stainless styled.
Foul demons of the earth and air,
From this their wonted haunt exiled,
Shall flee before thy presence fair.
We bow us to our lot of care,
Beneath thy guidance reconciled;
Hear for a maid a maiden's prayer,
And for a father hear a child!
Ave Maria!

"Hymn to the Virgin" by Sir Walter Scott in German and in English


The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown:
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.

Excerpt from the Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.

The Wind and the Rain (from Twelfth Night) by William Shakespeare

When that I was a little tiny boy,
With a hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came to man's estate,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
'Gainst knaves and thieves men shut the gate,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came, alas! to wive,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
By swaggering could I never thrive,
For the rain it raineth every day.

But when I came unto my beds,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
With toss-pots still had drunken heads,
For the rain it raineth every day.

A great while ago the world begun,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every day.

Friday, 30 December 2016


The Yuletide and Christmas has all but gone, the New Year of 2017 creeps nearer and is welcomed in its’ approach. It is I think true for many, that 2016 has not been the best of years and a near countless number of us now look forward to a fresh start.

In the context and world of politics, war and violence, murder, mayhem and much else besides, the general perception is that 2016 has been one of the worst years in living memory. There are many who will remember 2016 for the number of celebrity deaths, others for the acts of terrorism conducted by self-proclaimed armies and by official police and military forces, for what is war but legalised terror and murder?

Equally; these deaths of world leaders and celebrities, raise many questions about our western society. Why does the death of a celebrity touch us so deeply? Is the life of a celebrity, any more important than that of refugee drowned in the Mediterranean? Are their lives more important than a neighbour? Do only celebrity lives matter today?

I certainly look forward to a fresh start, recognising that both 2015 and 2016 have been marred by ill health and many personal difficulties. This has left me far behind with the many projects that I have, within my as yet unfinished portfolio and I sincerely hope that 2017 will see some of these complete, finished and published.

These projects comprise of several blogs and pending reviews, including reports of some of the most important Craft events of the century so far. For it has to said, the year 2016 has been marked by gatherings of great importance and I have been fortunate to have attended them.

So like many of us today, I eagerly look forward to the departure of this tarnished year of 2016 and sincerely pray that 2017 will be a more productive, happier and healthier one. To all the readers of the blog I say this; I wish thee well, fear not the future and I hope that the coming year will be a blessed one for all of us.

Benisons to you all.

FFF. Chattering Magpie.

Thursday, 22 December 2016


In this the approach to the Yuletide and Christmas, I wish to share with you and warn you of a traditional story still taught to our children. I refer to the Brothers Grimm tale of Hansel and Gretel.

In this tale a harmless old woman, allegedly a Witch; living alone in the woods and sharing gingerbread with passing children, is pushed into an oven and roasted by two ungrateful brats.

This action is obviously an allusion to the burning times, when an average of three million feminist Wiccans per century, over three consecutive centuries were “roasted” by the church. Although, this is a staggering figure when the population of Medieval Europe, is actually taken into account. However, I digress.

Our children are actively being taught to discriminate and persecute Witches, mad cat ladies and people who like ginger bread. It is time to make a stand lest the Burning Times return. I ask you, have we forgotten Magna Carta? Did she die in vain?

© Chattering Magpie 2011 with the special acknowledgement of Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, Ray Galton, Alan Simpson and Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock.