Guinevere would sit among the holly and the ivy
And there in throne she'd hear the pleas of lovers vain and true
And there she'd sit serenely 'neath the thorns upon the holly
And the creepers of the ivy and the bending boughs of yew.
One day there came before her 'neath the holly and the ivy
An uncle and a nephew and the woman both did woo
Betrothed to the elder but beloved to the younger
And bitter thorns of holly grew between the two.
The Queen with rooted wisdom like the holly and the ivy
Said, "Lovers hearts will cling like vines no matter what they do
But blessed is the woman who accepts her wedded duty,
Like the strong and supple branches of the bending yew."
And so she asked the uncle 'neath the holly and the ivy
Were he to have a choice what day of wedding would he choose
To have a wife in summer when all goodly things are growing
Or wait to take his lover 'til the trees stood new.
So the uncle cast his gaze amid the holly and the ivy
And greedily appraised the woman sent to be his due
"My lady queen, I'll take her when the trees have bared their leaves,
And the nights are at their longest, and diversions few."
So Guinevere sat smiling, 'neath the holly and the ivy
As maid and lover clung at what they thought was dreadful news
"My dear, you have your answer: you are free to wed your lover
For this man has loosed the bonds that you could not undo."
"For here where we are sitting, 'neath the holly and the ivy,
Is much the same in winter, when the holly berries bloom,
So go and have my blessing 'til the holly goes unclothed,
And the creepers of the ivy, and the bending boughs of yew."
"These greenest boughs of holly, and of ivy, and of yew."
The Road to Santiago
- The Greyhound
- The Road to Santiago
- Holly, Ivy, & Yew
- Black Fox
- Flowers of Bermuda
- Up Into the Pear Tree