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Moon & Mummer’s Dance

17mystic moon0

WHEN IN THE SPRINGTIME OF THE YEAR, WHEN THE TREES ARE CROWNED WITH LEAVES

WHEN THE ASH AND OAK AND BURCH AND YEW ARE DRESSED IN RIBBONS FAIR

WHEN OWLS CALL THE BREATHLESS MOON IN THE BLUE VEIL OF THE NIGHT

THE SHADOWS OF THE TREES APPEAR AMIDST THE LANTERN LIGHT

 

WE’VE BEEN RAMBLING ALL THE NIGHT

AND SOME TIME OF THIS DAY

NOW RETURNING BACK AGAIN

WE BRING A GARLAND GAY

It was at this very time of the year when I first listened to ‘The Mummer’s Dance’. I was searching for an escape, a way out of the winter’s end. There was dirty snow everywhere, but hints of spring came on the night winds. I’d slip out of the condo late at night and walk into the South End, where a century of Boston had passed and many of the brownstones that had seen it go by were still standing, silently watching. Who else had they seen dancing in the night?

Beneath a mystical moon I’d walk, watching it blink from behind the Prudential building, or peek out from what will always be known to me as the John Hancock tower. It changed its garb nightly, but the rows of brownstones remained the same, stalwartly guarding their denizens. I liked it best shrouded in clouds, when wisps of water vapor trailed around it like the most sumptuous silk. As the nights grew warmer, my steps grew livelier. The heart wants to dance. When will we let it?

AND SO THEY LINKED THEIR HANDS AND DANCED

ROUND IN CIRCLES AND IN ROWS

AND SO THE JOURNEY OF THE NIGHT DESCENDS

WHEN ALL THE SHADES ARE GONE.

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