Monday, October 31, 2011

Pagan fertility chant in Early Middle Ages

Earth, Earth, Earth!  O Earth, our mother!
May the All-Wielder, Ever-Lord grant thee
Acres a-waxing, upwards a-growing,
Pregnant with corn and plenteous in strength;
Hosts of grain shafts and of glittering plants!
Of broad barley the blossoms,
And of white wheat ears waxing,
Of the whole land the harvest...
Acre, full-fed, bring forth fodder for men!
Blossoming brightly, blessed become!
And the God who wrought with earth grant us gift of growing
That each of the all the corns may come unto our need.
—Eileen Power in
Medieval People (1963).  Page 28 of the 2000 Dover reprint. This was a “charm” (pagan chant intended to have worldly impact) a farmer would recant as he began plowing and placed a little bread-cake under the soil, hoping to increase the fertility of the field.  During early Middle Ages.  This farmer may have to admit to the chant during confession, and do penance.

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