The music of the Beatles’ “Here Comes the Sun” has given way to the Beach Boys as I drive around town. But it is the lesser known but beautiful “Lady of the Season’s Laughter” that plays at home every morning as a strong beam of light graces my living room. It begins “Lady of the season's laughter in the summer's warmth be near ...” For copyright reasons, I cannot print out all the lyrics, but I urge you to treat yourself to the recording: https://www.riseupandsing.org/songs/lady-seasons-laughter. It is beautiful.
In my solstice greetings blog I emphasized the need to honor the beauty of nature. Today, I am thinking about all the wonderful music, poetry, and other expressions of art that such summer beauty has inspired. Certainly, it is not limited to Celtic poets and writers but there have been many.
Here is a poem that is believed to be from the 10th Century that sets the tone:
Summer Has Come
Summer has come, healthy and free,
Whence the brown wood is aslope;
The slender nimble deer leap,
And the path of seals is smooth.
The cuckoo sings sweet music,
Whence there is smooth restful sleep;
Gentle birds leap upon the hill,
And swift grey stags.
Heat has laid hold of the rest of the deer,
The lovely cry of curly packs!
The white extent of the strand smiles,
There the swift sea is.
A sound of playful breezes in the tops
Of a black oakwood is Drum Daill,
The noble hornless herd runs,
To whom Cuan-wood is a shelter.
Green bursts out on every herb,
The top of the green oakwood is bushy,
Summer has come, winter has gone,
Twisted hollies wound the hound.
The blackbird sings a loud strain,
To him the live wood is a heritage,
The sad angry sea is fallen asleep,
The speckled salmon leaps.
The sun smiles over every land,
A parting for me from the brood of cares:
Hounds bark, stags tryst, Ravens flourish,
Summer has come!