Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Happy Lughnasadh (Lammas)

It was upon a Lammas night,
When corn rigs are bonie,
Beneath the moon's unclouded light,
I held awa to Annie;
The time flew by, wi' tentless heed,
Till, 'tween the late and early,
Wi' sma' persuasion she agreed
To see me thro' the barley.

Corn rigs, an' barley rigs,
An' corn rigs are bonie:
I'll ne'er forget that happy night,
Amang the rigs wi' Annie.

The sky was blue, the wind was still,
The moon was shining clearly;
I set her down, wi' right good will,
Amang the rigs o' barley:
I ken't her heart was a' my ain;
I lov'd her most sincerely;

I kiss'd her owre and owre again,
Amang the rigs o' barley.
Corn rigs, an' barley rigs, &c.

I lock'd her in my fond embrace;
Her heart was beating rarely:
My blessings on that happy place,
Amang the rigs o' barley!
But by the moon and stars so bright,
That shone that hour so clearly!
She aye shall bless that happy night
Amang the rigs o' barley.
Corn rigs, an' barley rigs, &c.

I hae been blythe wi' comrades dear;
I hae been merry drinking;
I hae been joyfu' gath'rin gear;
I hae been happy thinking:
But a' the pleasures e'er I saw,
Tho' three times doubl'd fairly,
That happy night was worth them a',
Amang the rigs o' barley.
Corn rigs, an' barley rigs, &c.
Robert Burns, 1783

On Lammas night tonight I had another go at making a corn dolly, which turned out slightly better than my last attempt. It's a basic 5-plait finished with a 3-plait ring, but the straw was really stiff and not very pliable, despite the fact that I soaked it for almost an hour. My book suggests it's due to modern varieties of wheat, so maybe next time I will buy some from a crafts supplier or I will try and find some seeds for some old varieties which might look quite nice when grown in pots.

I "sacrificed" some ginger bread men in the garden, which the hedgehogs sniffed out straight away.

I made a crusty Farmhouse-Lammas-Loaf and already ate the both of the poor fellow's feet, and they were delicious - mmhhhh feet.

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