Weod-monath means month of weeds and may refer to the harvesting and blessing of herbs – a parallel to this custom survived until recent times in Germany.
Reference to Nerthus - Goddess of fertility is based on the writings of Saint Bede. Representations of her were decorated with cloths and carried from village to village. Any fighting could be interrupted, at least, by this as no one would dare to fight in her presence.
After the first days harvest a feast was provided to be enjoyed amongst the rigs.
Reference to bare legs and feet is based on the Bayeux Tapestry, generally taken to be an accurate portrayal of the Anglo-Saxons.
Reference to thatching and clean the ox fold is taken from contemporary farming manuals (The Good Reeve).
August month of weeds, and ripening grain,
Bread from wheat sievings, has long been our bane.
Bright harvest moon, reaping late into night,
Lifting our spirits, with songs we recite.
We pray thee oh Thor, take heed of our plea,
To survive winter, we depend on thee.
We implore thee oh Thor, send us no rain,
Nerthus blessed us, with much corn to sustain.
With sun moon and scythe, the power of three,
Massive rigs of fine wheat, so mote it be.
To bake the first loaf, we gather the corn,
And make the Corn Queen, for all to adorn.
After dusty toil, ale jug in the meads,
Feast and be glad, drink hail to our deeds.
Rejoicing the harvest, breaking first bread,
The gods on our side, be glad of the spread.
Bare legs and feet, in field of summer wheat,
Wearing hooded tunics, we are complete.
Among the rigs, we’ll drink and be cheery,
There’s always the new, day to be weary.
A good crop of corn, to keep us well fed,
With full load of grain, we can look ahead.
Tomorrow we thatch, and clean the ox fold,
But tonight in the rigs, we’re feeling bold.
Copyright Andrew Rea 2009