Harvest Dance

By Gwydion Pendderwyn

Don now the wreath of gold, and bear the torches in their hold
Through the brown and barren fields, where the fairies have trod
Press the lights into the soil, and round the circle writhe and coil
For the abundant yield, thanks be unto the Gods.
Bear the baskets filled with grain, oats and barley and rye
Hide them from the pouring rain soon to darken the sky.

Round and around and around we go, sometimes fast and sometimes slow
Round and around and around the ring, of the Summerborn King.

Old God that's standing here to watch the turning of the year
Far from the forest gloom, fairies hide their tomb
Strong staves of rowan tree shall keep the measure merrily
Ash branch and sprig of rue flash beneath the Full Moon
Rise up and join the ring, round the Harvest tide plays
Raise now the waning King, in the last of His days.

Hand to hand we pass the blade and sheathe it by the Ivy Maid
Keen the edge that cuts the hand of the dancer unwary
Greet the God with open arms, and bind the ring with Sylvan charms
Raise the spirits of the land, Sylph and Knight and Fairy
Bear now the Maiden's blade to the altar of stone
Here where the God has stayed till the Harvest has grown.

Round, ground upon the ground where Jack 'O Green is often found
Whirl twirl the Ivy girl where the Harvest was springing
Bright, bright the firelight when day is turning into night
Swirl, swirl the smoke doth curl, while the dancers are singing
Dance 'neath the autumn crown, 'mongst the fartles and sheaves
Dance now upon the ground, branches, petals and leaves.
(sing chorus twice to end)

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