From the Laudator who gets a biretta tip.

"Martinmass" is the Feast of St. Martin of Tours.

John Clare (written Nov. 11, 1841):

    ‘Tis Martinmass from rig to rig
    Ploughed fields and meadow lands are blea
    In hedge and field each restless twig
    Is dancing on the naked tree
    Flags in the dykes are bleached and brown
    Docks by its sides are dry and dead
    All but the ivy-boughs are brown
    Upon each leaning dotterel’s head

    Crimsoned with awes the awthorns bend
    O’er meadow-dykes and rising floods
    The wild geese seek the reedy fen
    And dark the storm comes o’er the woods
    The crowds of lapwings load the air
    With buzes of a thousand wings
    There flocks of starnels too repair
    When morning o’er the valley springs

awes: hawes
awthorns: hawthorns
blea: bleak
docks: weeds (cf. burdocks)
dotterel: pollard tree
dykes: ditches
flags: reeds
rig: ridge
starnels: starlings

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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One Comment

  1. mao now says:

    Thanx for the reminder of Martinmas, And while we are at it, why not revive the old description of A very unique weather phenomenon that occurs around this time? “St. Martins summer” AKA “Indian Summer” Warm bright days with cool damp nights and mornings, ours occured here in the deep south Last week. The last nice weather before Winter. Amongst older French speakers here in Louisiana you still here it called ” L’ete du Sainte Martin” …Saint Martins summer

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