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Flora’s Holiday

From the Album Weave

Stop your labour come this way
For this is Flora’s holiday
The sheep in the meadow are hard at play
This day will be yours

If you ask me of now of then
The words have changed, but the song’s the same
A heart will beat or fade away
Laughter has never changed
The poet must still rearrange
While lovers dream, this is their day

Rise you children come this way
For this is Flora’s holiday
Time to laugh and time to play
For music and dance

If you ask me why don’t we now
Stare as long as sheep or cow
Or see the world as once we thought it was
I will tell you to close your eyes
It’s only then you’ll realise
The answer’s not in why or because

Sleep you children where you lay
That was Flora’s holiday


“Nymphs and Shepherds come away.” Of all the first lines that came to me, this was one of the weirdest. I knew it as an old English folk song we were forced to sing at junior school. You don’t see a lot of shepherds around these days and even fewer nymphs, so heaven knows what made me think of this song.

Having no idea how to turn that line into a story, I turned to Google and discovered that the original song was written by Henry Purcell and was about an ancient spring festival known as Flora’s Holiday.