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CELTIC TREE LORE - ANCIENT POEMS 4 - Suibhne, The Woodland Wanderer (excerpts)

Oak leafy, large bowl, you rise above the trees, Hazel, the small bouquets, cabinet hazelnut. Fern, you're not spiteful, is your lovely scent, you're not sharp when those in the hollow Blackthorn, a small thorny, small dark blackthorn. Berro, little green dots on the edge of the source of the blackbird. Saxifraga of the way, you are the sweeter of the herbs. Lepidio, a very green plant where strawberries are growing. Apple, small apple, all you shake violently. Alder, small or full of berries, is your lovely flowering. Yew, yew or small, are conspicuous in the cemeteries. Ivy, small ivy, you are familiar in the thick forest. Ash, a small guard, who stop portal to the wind. Fern, pernicious, you are a weapon in the hands of a warrior. Birch, soft, blessed, proud, melodic, charming each branch is intertwined at the top of your cup.Aspen, while shaking, I hear from time to time your leaves murmur, And I think it resembles a run.
Little antlered one, little belling one,melodious little bleater,sweet I think the lowing you make in the glen.Home sickness for my little dwelling has come upon my mind,the calves in the plain, the deer on the moor.Oak, bushy, leafy, you are high above trees;Hazel, little branchy one, wisdom of hazel nuts.Alder, you are not spiteful, lovely is your colour,you are not prickly where you are in the gap.Blackthorn, little thorny one, black little sloe bush,Apple tree, little apple tree, violently everyone shakes you.Bramble, little humped vine, you do not grant fair terms;tearing me till you are sated with blood.Yew, you are conspicuous among tombs;Rowan, little berried one, sacred is your lovely white blooms.Holly, little protector, door against storms;Ash tree weapon in the hand of the warrior, baneful are you.Birch, smooth, blessed, proud, melodious,how lovely is each entangled branch at the top of your crest.Aspen, as it trembles from time to time I hear its leaves rustle and think it is the foray;Ivy, you are familiar in the dark woods.

In his book, "The White Godess" R.Graves comments about the preservation of genuine interest in ancient Ireland. Irish triads in the seventh century earlier demanded the death penalty for the illegal felling of two chief trees, the hazelnut and apple Three things that do not breathe should be payed with only things they breathe, An apple, a hazelnut and a sacred wood.He also says that in the Medieval Ireland were running several classification systems of trees. He cites a poem of the seventeenth century which gives list of the seven heads trees, but with alder, the willow and birch, instead of ash, yew and pine, and the fine for his illegal logging was a cow, or three for the whole woodland. For the Brehon Law trees were divided into four categories, Seven Headed Trees, Rustic Seven Trees, Seven Shrubs, Eight Thorny bushes, with a scale of fines for illegal logging which severely diminished by category. It is noteworthy that in this case the trees prized for their noble heads or sacrosanct, were: 1. Oak, because of their size, beauty, and its acorns to pigs that fatten 2. Hazel, for their nuts and brambles 3. Holly, on his wooden lances used in car 4. Yew, for its wood, used for homemade dishes, shields, etc. 5. Fresno, for its timber, used to make the throne of the King, and horns for weapons. 6. Pine, for his wood used to make punches. 7. Appletree, for its fruit and bark suited to the tannery.
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