A Couple of Seasonal Rhymes

The month of March seems to have sparked poets into writing their verse over the years. Perhaps it’s the hint of spring in the air that does it.

The year’s at the spring,
And days at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hillside’s dew pearled;
The lark’s on the wing,
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in his heaven –
All’s right with the world.

Robert Browning

Drink nettle tea in March and
Mugwort tea in May
And cowslip wine in June to
Send decline away.

The first was snow and sleet,
The next was cold and wet.
The third was such a freeze
The bird’s nest stuck to trees.

 

Days of the Month of March

1st
St David’s Day.
He was a sixth century monk and bishop, patron saint of Wales. He died today in 589.

2nd
St Chad
, Bishop of Lichfield, died today in 672. The water from St Chad’s Well was mixed with dust from his shrine and sold as a cure-all for 6d a glass. He is the patron saint of medicinal springs. Chadwell, in Essex, is derived from St Chad’s name.

 

“Sow peas and beans on David or Chad
Whether the weather be good or bad.”

 

3rd
St Winnols Day.
First comes David, then comes Chad.
Then comes Winnol, roaring like mad.

4th
St Adrian’s Day.
He was a fifth century hermit, who died on this day in 875.

5th
St Piran’s Day.
He was the patron saint of tin miners. A fifth century hermit, one of Cornwall’s most popular saints. Many Cornish villages are named Perran-something, after the saint.

6th
St Baldred’s Day.
He was an eighth century hermit.

8th
St John’s Day.
He lived from 1495 to 1550 and devoted himself to the sick and destitute. After his death his followers were organised into the Brothers of St John of God. He is the patron saint of hospitals, nurses and the sick. His emblem is a pomegranate surmounted by a cross.

St Felix’s Day. He died in 648, but his name survives in the place name of Felixstowe.

12th
St Gregory the Great’s Day.
He was a sixth century pope who died on this day in 604. Sow onion on St Gregory’s Day for a good crop. On this day St Gregory opens the flowers for the bees.

15th
Beware the Ides of March.

17th
St Joseph of Arimathea’s Day. Joseph was said to have come to Britain in AD63. He stuck his thorn staff in the ground at Glastonbury, where it took root, grew, and flowers still every year at Christmas.

St Patrick’s Day. Patron saint of Ireland. He was born in 389 in Northamptonshire, the son of a Roman soldier who had converted to Christianity, and a Celtic mother. He was sold as a slave aged 16, and taken to Ireland.

On the third Thursday in March St Clement Dane’s Church in the Strand, London, holds its oranges and lemons service. The whole church is decorated with the fruit and afterwards it is given out to children, and the bells chime out the old nursery rhyme at 9.00am, 3.00pm and 6.00pm.

18th
St Edward the Martyr’s Day.
He died on this day in 979, at Corfe Castle. He was a Saxon King of England who was made a saint after he was murdered. He is buried at Shaftesbury, where many miracles were said to have taken place at his tomb.

19th
St Alkmund’s Day
(774-819). He became the patron saint of Derby after he was murdered by the Danes and his body moved there. Eight old churches are dedicated to him.

St Joseph’s Day. Husband of the Virgin Mary, and patron saint of carpenters, fathers, pastry cooks and working men. It is said of old, if you have trouble selling your house bury a figure of St Joseph upside down in your front garden.

21st
Spring Vernal Equinox.
This day was celebrated by the ancient Celts as the day when the sun god Bran regains power over the forces of darkness and causes the days to lengthen. It’s said his burial place is on Tower Hill.

24th
St Gabriel’s Day.
The archangel is invoked by those waiting, or looking for, good news. As such he is the patron saint of messengers, the post and telephone.

This day was New Year’s Eve until 1752 and the calendar change.

25th
St Mary’s Day.
St Mary blows out the candle, and St Michael (September 29th) lights it again.

This day was regarded as the first day of the year until the mid-18th century. It is the first of the quarter days. It is also the birthday of Adam, and a great day for seeing fairies.

This day is also known as Lady Day, the day on which, according to Christians, Mary was told by the Angel Gabriel that she was to be the mother of Christ.

It is considered unlucky for Lady Day to fall on Easter (Eostre) day.

27th
On this day in 1790 the shoelace is said to have been invented. Just thought I’d put that in.

28th
St Alleda’s Day
– a Saxon princess. I don’t know much about her, I’m afraid.

31st
This is the time of the Blackthorn Winter. Just when you thought spring was on its way and the hedge covered in the white blossom of the Sloe, chill winds blow from the north-west. Typical English weather, but we fall for it every time.