October 27, 2006

Poetry Friday: Halloween edition

A couple of spooky oldies but goodies, both from the Oxford Book of Poetry for Children, compiled by Edward Blishen and illustrated by Brian Wildsmith, 1963 (the library ditched this one at a discard sale a few years ago, and their loss is our definite gain):

Witches' Charm
by Ben Jonson

The owl is abroad, the bat and the toad,
And so is the cat-a-mountain;
The ant and the mole both sit in a hole,
And frog peeps out o' the fountain.
The dogs they do bay, and the timbrels play,
The spindle is now a-turning;
The moon it is red, and the stars are fled,
But all the sky is a-burning:
The ditch is made, and our nails the spade:
With pictures full, of wax and wood,
The livers I stick with needles quick;
There lacks but the blood to make up the flood.
quickly, dame, then bring your part in!
Spur, spur, upon little Martin!
Merrily, merrily, make him sail,
A worm in his mouth and a thorn in's tail,
Fire above, and fire below,
With a whip i' your hand to make him go!

The Hag
by Robert Herrick (1591-1614), a member of the Sons of Ben, followers and admirers of Ben Jonson

The Hag is astride,
This night for to ride;
The Devil and she together;
Through thick and through thin,
Now out and then in,
Though ne'er so foul be the weather.

A thorn or a burr
She takes for a spur,
Witha lash of a bramble she rides now;
Through brakes and through briars,
O'er ditches and mires,
She follows the Spirit that guides now.

No beast, for his food
Dares now range the wood,
But hushed in his lair he lies lurking;
While mischiefs, by these,
On land and on seas,
At noon of night are a-working.

The storm will arise
And trouble the skies;
This night, and more for the wonder,
The ghost from the tomb
Affrighted shall come,
Called out by the clap of thunder.

And for something new don't miss Gregory K.'s Halloween Poem at GottaBook!


Costume Update: Daniel is still committed to Harpo Marx, thank goodness. Laura, however, has bounced from Shirley Temple to a scarecrow, and after watching a Fred Astaire movie last night, she and Davy (formerly the jester) have decided on Fred and Ginger. I'm not holding my breath, but then I'm not helping with costumes any more either. Less than a week out, they're all on their own!


Liz B. at A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy has the day's offerings, along with a review of The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano by Margarita Engle. Thanks, Liz!

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