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Twas the Night before Yuletide ☽○☾

Twas the Night before Yuletide ☽○☾

Twas the night before Yuletide and all through the glen,
Not a creature was stirring, not a fox, not a hen.
A mantle of snow shone brightly that night
As it lay on the ground, reflecting moonlight.

The faeries were nestled all snug in their trees,
Unmindful of flurries and a chilly north breeze.
The elves and the gnomes were down in their burrows,
Sleeping like babes in their soft earthen furrows.

When low! The earth moved with a thunderous quake,
Causing chairs to fall over and dishes to break.
The Little Folk scrambled to get on their feet
Then raced to the river where they usually meet.

“What happened?” they wondered, they questioned, they probed, 
As they shivered in night clothes, some bare-armed, some robed. 
“What caused the earth's shudder? 
What caused her to shiver?”
They all spoke at once as they stood by the river.

Then what to their wondering eyes should appear
But a shining gold light in the shape of a sphere.
It blinked and it twinkled, it winked like an eye,
Then it flew straight up and was lost in the sky.

Before they could murmur, before they could bustle,
There emerged from the crowd, with a swish and a rustle,
A stately old crone with her hand on a cane,
Resplendent in green with a flowing white mane.

As she passed by them the old crone's perfume,
Smelling of meadows and flowers abloom,
Made each of the fey folk think of the spring
When the earth wakes from slumber and the birds start to sing.

“My name is Gaia,” the old crone proclaimed
in a voice that at once was both wild and tamed,
“I've come to remind you, for you seem to forget,
that Yule is the time of re-birth, and yet…”

“I see no hearth fires, hear no music, no bells,
The air isn't filled with rich fragrant smells
Of baking and roasting, and simmering stews,
Of cider that's mulled or other hot brews.”

“There aren't any children at play in the snow,
Or houses lit up by candles’ glow.
Have you forgotten, my children, the fun
Of celebrating the rebirth of the sun?”

She looked at the fey folk, her eyes going round,
As they shuffled their feet and stared at the ground.
Then she smiled the smile that brings light to the day,
“Come, my children,” she said, “Let's play.”

They gathered the mistletoe, gathered the holly,
Threw off the drab and drew on the jolly.
They lit a big bonfire, and they danced and they sang.
They brought out the bells and clapped when they rang.

They strung lights on the trees, and bows, oh so merry,
In colors of cranberry, bayberry, cherry.
They built giant snowmen and adorned them with hats,
Then surrounded them with snow birds, and snow cats and bats.

Then just before dawn, at the end of their fest,
Before they went homeward to seek out their rest,
The fey folk they gathered ‘round their favorite oak tree
And welcomed the sun ‘neath the tree's finery.

They were just reaching home when it suddenly came,
The gold light returned like an arrow-shot flame.
It lit on the tree top where they could see from afar
The golden-like sphere turned into a star.

The old crone just smiled at the beautiful sight,
"Happy Yuletide, my children," she whispered. "Good night."

☽○☾

The Author of this wonderful tale is unfortunately Unknown. It may possibly be C.C. Williford.

Found on: Pagan by Design

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  • I do so love this, thank you for sharing it here Ariadne!

    I also like this humorous take on it:

    A Nordic Yule

    'Twas the night before Yuletide in the Horde's hall
    Not a person was stirring, not even a thrall.
    The wineskins were hung on the mantle with care
    In hope that great Odin soon would be there.

    The clansmen were snoring, passed out on the floor.
    And I made to join them. I couldn't drink more.
    I found a place quickly, my furs for a bed.
    The mead I had drunk had gone to my head.

    Then came a noise from way out in back.
    So loud that I swore, we were under attack!
    I leapt from my furs, my sword clutched in hand,
    And went to the window to survey the land.

    I looked into the night and muttered a curse,
    Could it be Grendel or something much worse?
    Then what to my eyes should the full moon reveal,
    But an old fashioned sleigh drawn by a creature unreal.

    And a huge burly driver so fierce and forbodin',
    I knew in a moment it was Allfather Odin.
    He yelled at the creature with a snarl on his lips,
    And after each word, gave a crack of his whip.

    "Obey me now, Sleipner, for I am your master,
    An eight-legged horse ought to run faster!?"
    I ran from the window, so quick and so able
    And sought a safe haven under the table.

    I heard the sleigh stop and Odin get out
    And as he drew nearer, gave a great shout.
    He kicked the door open, which then hung askew
    And I shook when I saw him, what else could I do?

    He was dressed in his armor, so regal and fine
    But I caught a strong odor of cheap women and wine.
    His bundle of weapons he dropped where he stood,
    All bright gleaming steel and dark polished wood.

    His face was like granite with a long flowing beard
    His one eye glowing like an ember, or so it appeared.
    I watched him quite closely alone with my fear
    As he surveyed the hall with a glare and a sneer.

    He cursed and he muttered and seemed to grow madder
    And I fought to keep some control of my bladder.
    He lifted his foot and pulled a nail from beneath
    Then seemed to grow calmer. I sighed with relief.

    He then went to work, his task to assail
    And filled all the wineskins with mead and stout ale.
    Then using his finger to scratch at his crotch
    He strode from the hall as I silently watched.

    He mounted his sleigh and his whip gave a crack
    As Sleipner jumped forward, he laughed and leaned back.
    He said as he rode, "Fight hard and die well.
    And when that day comes, in Valhalla you'll dwell!"

    © 2002 Michael G. Tucker

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