Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Midsummer Night's Dream

“Where the water whispers mid the shadowy rowan - trees
I have heard the Hidden People like the hum of swarming bees:
And when the moon has risen and the brown burn glisters grey
I have seen the Green Host marching in laughing disarray”

Fiona MacLeod

Tonight is Midsummer Eve when the veil between the worlds is thin, it is one of the few times of the year when it is possible to see the faery people as they hold their Midsummer Revels especially if you sit under an elder or hawthorn tree at midnight.
Tomorrow will be the longest day of the year, for a few days the sun rises and sets in the same place before the wheel of the year begins to turn again and the days begin to shorten once more. The Crown of the Year passes from the Oak King to the Holly King as we begin the journey to the fullness of the harvest and the long cold days of the winter.

Come faeries, take me out of this dull world,
for I would ride with you upon the wind
and dance upon the mountains like a flame


For now, though, the sun is at the height of its strength and it is time to celebrate and enjoy all that summer has to offer - the scent of the wild honeysuckle drifting on the air, the brilliant blaze of red where the poppies grow in profusion and all the new young lives that are in every tree and field and woodland glade at this time of the year.

"I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania some time of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight"

Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream

A very Happy Summer Solstice to all.

The paintings are
1.The Riders of the Sidhe by a 19th century Scottish painter called John Duncan.
2.Midsummer Eve by Edward Robert Hughes a Pre Raphaelite artist
3.Titania Sleeps by Frank Cadogan Cowper


Leanne said...

a very happy solstice to you too Rowan. I shall be observing this tonight too, quietly, on my own.

a lovely post- once again

leanne x

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lovely writing. I wish we still held to the old ways of calculating the seasons—and that midsummer was really summer's mid-point.

I've always liked the Pre Raphaelite painters. My daughter has perhaps thirty such prints framed and displayed in her condo, including the Hughes here.

Again, a beautiful post.

Diane said...

I'm out dancing and singing in the open air tonight (so I hope it warms up! or at least the wind drops). xx

Derrick said...

And to you too, Rowan.

Lovely, gentle words and pictures to match. Not really like mid summer here weatherwise but .....

Wanda said...

Beautiful Rowan...Maybe I will go out at midnight to watch and listen...

Rosie said...

What a gentle, magical post. I love Oberon's speech from Midsummer Night's Dream - I once saw the play performed in the open air on Misummer's Eve it was truly magical:)Have a happy, peaceful weekend:)

pattypan.2 said...

What a charming post - thank you Rowan and a happy solstice to you. I have an elder tree in the garden so i might just wander down and midnight and see what we shall see. The wheel turns - happy solstice


ruthie said...

happy belated solstice! a beautiful post, love the images too

Janet said...

Beautiful post, Rowan. You always present everything in such a wonderful way....very creative. I love all the paintings but that last one is my favorite.

Kim said...

Solstice Blessings to you, Rowan :)

Kim x

FireLight said...

Rowan, every time I stop by your Circle, my life is made richer! My favorite a writers and paintngs...and your own beautiful narratives are always waiting here. What a feast for eye, mind, and soul! And you know how I feel about the Fairy Folk! Thank you for a magical celebration of the solstice!

Anonymous said...

One of your stunning cultural posts Rowan.

solsticedreamer~laoi gaul~williams said...

a lovely post rowan~thank you :)

Thimbleanna said...

It just doesn't seem fair that our days should already start to get shorter again -- it seems like we've barely left winter behind us. Beautiful pictures Rowan -- I've always loved Midsummer Eve!