Today is the traditional feast day of Michaelmas,
or a day to honor the Archangel Michael, the heavenly defender sent
by God to watch over and protect the nation and people of Israel.
Michael is said to be the greatest of all the Archangels in the heaven,
and is often depicted defeating Satan during his rebellion against God
In times past, on the Isle of Sky in Scotland, a procession in honor
of Michael was held along with sports competitions, horse racing, and
other games. One of the few flowers still blooming at this time of the year
was the Michaelmas Daisy, a member of the Aster family of Autumn flowers,
hence the old rhyme: "The Michaelmas daisies, among dead weed,
"Red Admiral, Red Admiral,
I'm glad to see you here,
Alighting on my daisies one by one!
I hope you like their flavour
and although the Autumn's near,
Are happy as you sit there in the sun?"
"I thank you very kindly. Sir!
Your daisies are so nice,
So pretty and so plentiful are they;
The flavour of their honey, Sir,
It really does entice;
I'd like to bring my brothers, if I may!"
"Friend butterfly, friend butterfly,
go fetch them one and all!
I'm waiting here to welcome every guest;
And tell them it is Michaelmas,
and soon the leaves will fall,
But I think Autumn sunshine is best!"
"The Song Of The Michaelmas Daisy Fairy"
Poem and illustration by
Cecily Mary Barker
English artist and poetess