Saturday, 21 October 2017


In years hence as yet uncounted,
The Buddhist Pope as elected pontiff,
Shall reign supreme in China.

The people of Ulster shall rise again,
Returning to their homeland.
The baying hound shall lead them.
The rivers of the province,
Shall run with Orange blood.

The sacred bird shall desert the tower,
A Prince of the clans,
Shall claim the empty throne.

The Bishop of Rome, blinkered,
Shall sit amongst the ruin.

© The Chattering Magpie (1998)


The Gods do not die nor fade,
For we are immortal.
We sleep dormant,
Awaiting the call of a disciple.

O’ man and woman, hear my call to thee,
For I am older than time itself.
My sad neglect is mankind’s loss,
For I am a God of hidden wealth.

I am maligned by those that are ignorant,
For I am a God of many names.
I am worshipped by those that are wise,
Together with my Queen of unending reign.

Call out my name and I shall hear thee,
I am the father, the son and the lover.
Call out my name and I shall bellow,
I am the Horned God, king and brother.

I awake with the power of the dawn,
I lie hidden in the nut of the hazel.
I am the willing sacrifice,
And I am with thee from the cradle.

Just because thou cannot see me,
Does not mean I am not near.
O’ my children, hear my call,
Feel my presence but do not fear.

I am in the lightning and in the oak,
I am in this sacred song.
I am Cernunnos, Lord of the Hunt.
I am the Horned God and forever strong.

“Cernunnos I call thee my God” first published in Purdy T. (Ed.) (1994) Poems of the Midlands. Anchor Books of Peterborough under the name Daniel Bran Griffith.


I am the seed that you sow.
I am a bird on the wing.
I am the hen in the meadow.
I am the Divine song that you sing.

I am the Goddess of light and of dark.
I am the Goddess whose bird is the black crow.
It was I who put the song in Taliesin’s heart.
I am the Goddess of the white sow.

I am the guardian of the cauldron.
I am the crone and I am the mother.
I am the guardian of great wisdom.
I am the earth and I am the ruler.
I am the Goddess, I am Caridwen.

© The Chattering Magpie


Measure not my age in years,
But in the lives that I have lived before.
Measure not my love in tears,
For the future is my epitaph.

Why do people search for miracles,
When life itself is a great wonder?
Look to the stars and to the ocean,
Behold the elements of earthly humour.

I was once an unbeliever, but I am no longer.
I have seen the error of my ways.
The Old Gods have sated my spiritual hunger.

A field of wheat is resurrection,
Rebirth from brown to green, then gold.
The life of all is its reflection,
From birth to youth, to growing old.

Measure not my age in years,
But in the lives that I have seen before.
Measure not my love in tears,
The future is my memory.

© The Chattering Magpie

Monday, 25 September 2017

I Vow To Thee My Country (Urbs Dei or the Two Father Lands)

I heard my country calling, away across the sea,
Across the waste of waters, she calls and calls to me.
Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,
And around her feet are lying the dying and the dead;
I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns;
I haste to thee, my mother, a son among thy sons.

I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And Her ways are ways of gentleness, and all Her paths are peace.

Original poem by Sir Cecil Spring Rice. The final two stanzas being set to music by Gustav Holst (Thaxted/Jupiter from the Planet Suite).

The final line of the second verse is from Proverbs 3:17 (KJV), “Her ways are ways of pleasantness and all Her paths are peace,” in the context of which the feminine pronoun will refer to Wisdom.

The Sally and Jack unofficial duet from the film ‘A Nightmare before Christmas’

Sally’s Song

I sense there's something in the wind,
That feels like tragedy's at hand,
And though I'd like to stand by him.
Can't shake this feeling that I have,
The worst is just around the bend.

And does he notice my feelings for him?
And will he see how much he means to me?
I think it's not to be.

What will become of my dear friend?
Where will his actions lead us then?
Although I'd like to join the crowd,
In their enthusiastic cloud,
Try as I may, it doesn't last.

And will we ever end up together?
No, I think not, it's never to become,
For I am not the one.

Jack and Sally’s song
(My dearest friend/ we’re simply meant to be)

My dearest friend, if you don't mind,
I'd like to join you by your side.
Where we can gaze into the stars,
And sit together,
Now and forever,
For it is plain as anyone can see,
We’re simply meant to be.

Words and music by Danny Elfman

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat by Lewis Carroll from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat,
How I wonder what you're at:
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea tray in the sky.
Up above the world you fly,
Like at tea tray in the sky.

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat,
How I wonder what you're at:
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea tray in the sky.

An Anonymous Poem Commemorating the Catholic Martyrs of Derby

When Garlick did the ladder kiss,
And Sympson after hie,
Methought that there St. Andrew was
Desirous for to die.

When Ludlam look├Ęd smilingly,
And joyful did remain,
It seemed St. Stephen was standing by,
For to be stoned again.

And what if Sympson seemed to yield,
For doubt and dread to die;
He rose again, and won the field
And died most constantly.

His watching, fasting, shirt of hair;
His speech, his death, and all,
Do record give, do witness bear,
He wailed his former fall.

Written soon after the execution of Nicholas Garlick, Richard Simpson and Robert Ludlam, taking place on the 24th of July 1588 at Saint Mary's Bridge Derby England.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

To Autumn by John Keats (1819)

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o'er-brimm'd their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;
Or on a half-reap'd furrow sound asleep,
Drows'd with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook;
Or by a cider-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,–
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day,
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Monday, 28 August 2017

The Occultation of Orion by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I saw, as in a dream sublime,
The balance in the hand of Time.
O'er East and West its beam impended;
And day, with all its hours of light,
Was slowly sinking out of sight,
While, opposite, the scale of night
Silently with the stars ascended.

Like the astrologers of eld,
In that bright vision I beheld
Greater and deeper mysteries.
I saw, with its celestial keys,
Its chords of air, its frets of fire,
The Samian's great Aeolian lyre,
Rising through all its sevenfold bars,
From earth unto the fixed stars.
And through the dewy atmosphere,
Not only could I see, but hear,
Its wondrous and harmonious strings,
In sweet vibration, sphere by sphere,
From Dian's circle light and near,
Onward to vaster and wider rings.
Where, chanting through his beard of snows,
Majestic, mournful, Saturn goes,
And down the sunless realms of space
Reverberates the thunder of his bass.

Beneath the sky's triumphal arch
This music sounded like a march,
And with its chorus seemed to be
Preluding some great tragedy.
Sirius was rising in the east;
And, slow ascending one by one,
The kindling constellations shone.
Begirt with many a blazing star,
Stood the great giant Algebar,
Orion, hunter of the beast!
His sword hung gleaming by his side,
And, on his arm, the lion's hide
Scattered across the midnight air
The golden radiance of its hair.

The moon was pallid, but not faint;
And beautiful as some fair saint,
Serenely moving on her way
In hours of trial and dismay.
As if she heard the voice of God,
Unharmed with naked feet she trod
Upon the hot and burning stars,
As on the glowing coals and bars,
That were to prove her strength, and try
Her holiness and her purity.

Thus moving on, with silent pace,
And triumph in her sweet, pale face,
She reached the station of Orion.
Aghast he stood in strange alarm!
And suddenly from his outstretched arm
Down fell the red skin of the lion
Into the river at his feet.
His mighty club no longer beat
The forehead of the bull; but he
Reeled as of yore beside the sea,
When, blinded by Oenopion,
He sought the blacksmith at his forge,
And, climbing up the mountain gorge,
Fixed his blank eyes upon the sun.

Then, through the silence overhead,
An angel with a trumpet said,
"Forevermore, forevermore,
The reign of violence is o'er!"
And, like an instrument that flings
Its music on another's strings,
The trumpet of the angel cast
Upon the heavenly lyre its blast,
And on from sphere to sphere the words
Re-echoed down the burning chords,--
"Forevermore, forevermore,
The reign of violence is o'er!"