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CELTIC TREE LORE - ANCIENT POEMS 2

Song of the Forest Trees
Anonymous Irish. Translated into English by the Irish-Standish O Grady (1832-1915) Source: Book of Poems of the Irish / EMMull.
According to Robert Graves in his book: "The White Goddess / Grammar A Poetic History of Myth" (highly recommended for those wishing to deepen on the subject tree),a charming, though emasculated version of the same poem is current on Dartmoor। It tells which trees to burn and which not to burn as follows:


Oak-logs will warm you well, That are old and dry;
Logs of pine will sweetly smell But the sparks will fly.
Birch-logs will burn too fast, Chestnut scarce at all;
Hawthorn-logs are good to last-- Cut them in the fall.
Holly-logs will burn like wax, You may burn them green;
Elm-logs like to smouldering flax, No flame to be seen.
Beech-logs for winter time,
Yew-logs as well;
Green elder-logs it is a crime For any man to sell.
Pear-logs and apple-logs, They will scent your room,
Cherry-logs across the dogs Smell like flower of broom.
Ash-logs, smooth and grey, Burn them green or old,
Buy up all that come your way-- Worth their weight in gold


It is also noteworthy that the Scottish poet and musician Robin Williamson has arrangement versioning this poem with themselves next to the Merry Band under the name "The Woodcutter's Song" on his album "A GLINT at The kindling" (Flying Fish Records USA, 1979.)Words traditional English, music RW with fugal ideas by Chris Caswell 1978
Oak logs will warm you well That are old and dry Logs of pine will sweetly smell But the sparks will fly Birchs long will burn too fast Chestnut scarce at all sir Hawthorn logs are good to last That are cut well in the fall sir
Surely you will find There´s no compare with the hard wood logs That´s cut in the winter time
Holly logs will burn like wax You could burn them green Elm logs burn like smouldering flax With no flame to be seen Beech logs for winter time Yew logs as well sir Green elder logs it is a crime For any man to sell sir
Surely you will find There´s no compare with the hard wood logs That´s cut in the winter time
Pear logs and apple logs They will scent your room and cherry logs across the dogs They smell like flowers of broom But ash logs smooth and grey Buy them green or old, sir and buy up all that come your way They’re worth their weight in gold

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