After the clutter of Christmas is cleared away
And shops are shorn of lurid displays,
Now, outside, there’s a stirring in the trees
As merry music leads
Us along familiar ways
Into the old orchard, ablaze
With flickering torchlight
And a brazier of fire, burning bright.
Pots and pans are clanged
And shotguns banged:
Decluttering the trees of lingering malignants;
Replacing them with little lighted lanterns
And pieces of dunked and drunken toast
For Robin, the good-fellow, to make the most
As we raise our voices in joyful boasts:
‘Ere’s to thee - Old Apple Tree!
With wreaths of evergreen leaves
A Wassail King and Queen are crowned
And the Loving Cup is passed around
Overflowing with hot mulled cider
Bringing warmth and cheer inside as
We, outdoors, in the darkness of night
And the frosty grip of winter’s might,
Stand together to treasure and appease
The cold and naked apples trees
And wish good health to them:
In root and fruit, in branch and stem.
And so enjoining one another
To make merry in Midwinter
And celebrating the bond between bark and skin
We hope, once more, the trees will bring -
In autumn after summer after spring -
(As much as we give to them in our Wassailing)
So then, again, at Apple-Time we may all share
The wealth of the orchard: many an apple & many a pear!
Waes Hael!! Drinc Hael!!