Misrule at Yule

Hurrah, it is Yule, and the Lord of Misrule
holds sway in the Court of the Earl.
You’ll think him a fool, with his pig’s bladder tool,
a mad man who’s all dressed in red,
with his jests and his japes,
his antics both comic and bad.
But don’t be misled, for he’s planning to bed,
the maids, one by one every night!

For it is Yule, and twelve is the rule,
we’ll have fun long into the night.
The fire is a-roaring, the mead is a-pouring,
the feasting and the wild boar’s head.
The ivy’s a -gleam, the holly’s a-green,
with candle flames shedding their light.
The Yule log is dragged with much ceremony to see,
and rolled onto the fire so bright.

The music of Yule, and up gets the fool,
he dances a-top of the tables,
soon to jump down from playing the clown,
when the cook beats his arse with a ladle.
With lute strings and horn, and flute and the drum,
the minstrels play melodious beats.
As wild grows the dancing, and lovers are glancing,
and slipping off into the dark.
Then came the sagas, heroic of deed
as enemy’s face their defeat.

Wassail, it is Yule, the cup is re-fuelled,
and passed around the hall with a toast.
The Earl’s full of glee, and pulls onto his knee,
his wife, who’s as jolly as he.
In rides the fool upon a brown mule,
He’s led by a monkey in green.
He’s sat back to front and starts beating its rump,
with a feather from the dinner’s peacock.
The fool, he falls off, and the mule gives a kick,
he lands with his head in the fire.
We dash out the flames and laugh at his games,
as he rises, Phoenix-like, from the pyre.

‘Tis the first night of Yule, but the merriment now cools,
for into the Hall stalks a man.
The priest he has come, all solemn and glum,
and says we must worship the Lord.
With canting and ranting he talks of sin,
and with this we all grow bored.
Up jumps the fool, the Lord of Misrule,
and throws the priest out the door.
The warriors are cheering and flashing their swords,
and the Earl’s voice becomes a roar,
“Take your black book and chanting,
your prayers and denouncing,
and leave us here all in good cheer.
For it is Yule, the season of misrule
And besides;
we are all Heathens here!”

[Sally Nemesis is a Wiccan priestess and also a life-coach therapist. She lives close by the ancient Roman walled city of York in England where she has a patch of land and grows organic vegetables and celebrates the turn of the seasons in her elemental garden. She is an active member of the Leodis Pagan Circle.]

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