Monday, February 1, 2010

A Poem for Candlemas Eve

From The Hymns and Carols of Christmas:

Down With The Rosemary, And So
Candlemas Eve
(February 1st)

Words: Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

Poem 5 of 7 of Christmas Customs from Herrick

Source: William Henry Husk, Songs of the Nativity (London: John Camden Hotten, 1868)

Down with the rosemary, and so
Down with the bays and mistletoe;
Down with the holly, ivy, all
Wherewith ye deck's the Christmas hall;
That so the superstitious find
Not one least branch there left behind:
For look! How many leaves there be
Neglected there, Maids, trust to me,
So many goblins you shall see.

Husk's Note:

On this day the Christmas ceremonies, which had lingered on after Twelfth-day, finally closed, and all traces of them were removed. The custom long prevailed, and there must be many still living who can remember the evergreens with which our churches were decorated at Christmas, remaining until Candlemas [February 2nd].

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