The Realms of Talithia


musings on writing and all things medieval

A Lovely Wood

Perindens , a magic tree and keeper of the birds

Perindens, a magic tree and keeper of the birds

I came across a beautiful blog post today about trees in Anglo-Saxon literature. One of the sources cited, The Rune Poem, mentions four types of wood useful to humanity: birch, yew, oak, and ash. This list triggered music in my mind, and I remembered one of my favorite artists, Loreena McKennitt, who sang about these four trees in The Mummers’ Dance (sadly, I can’t embed YouTube videos here).

Also cited is The Phoenix, a poem about paradise and resurrection and an image of what is to come, a fitting tribute in light of Easter.

Prosperous is that victory-plain, shining the sunny groves,
joyful the wooded forests. The flowers never fail,
the bright blossoms, but the trees ever stand green,
just as God commanded. The woods in winter and summer
are alike, hanging with fruit. The leaves under the breeze
are never corrupted, nor does the flame ever harm them—
as it was before the change of the world occurred.
Translation by Aaron K. Hostetter

A lovely wood indeed.

J. L. RowanComment