Wednesday, January 17, 2018

A New Year, An Old Yew

Yew Berries In The Snow

The Song Of The Yew Fairy

Here, on the dark and solemn Yew,
A marvel may be seen,
Where waxen berries, pink and new,
Appear amid the green.

I sit a-dreaming in the tree,
So old and yet so new;
One hundred years, or two, or three
Are little to the Yew

I think of bygone centuries,
And seem to see anew
The archers face their enemies
With bending bows of Yew.

Cecily Mary Barker

"I think I shall never see, a poem lovely as a tree."
-Joyce Kilmer

Taxus Baccata
The Fortingall Yew

One of the oldest trees in the world,
 and possibly the oldest tree in Britain,
  the Fortingall Yew is located in the churchyard
 at Fortingall village, Perthshire, Scotland.

Said to be at least 2,000 to 3,000 years old, 
(with some scholars claiming  5,000 years old)
this Yew was a sacred tree symbolic of eternity
to the pagan cultures which flourished there
for many years prior to the rise of Christianity.

According to one legend connected to the colossal Yew,
 the controversial future Roman governor, Pontius Pilate,
is said to have played beneath this very same tree as a child.

The Fortingall Yew, Perthshire

I often think, if  wonderful old trees like this one could
talk, imagine the stories they would tell us!

"The Song Of The Yew Fairy"
A poem by Cecily Mary Barker

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