Forest Folklore, Mythology & Romance by Alexander Porteous


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George Allen & Unwin Ltd. 1928. First Edition. Rebound, 1/4 back leather with marbled paper boards.

'A fascinating and extremely comprehensive guide to forest folklore. It is not only concerned with English lore and mythology, but also that of Asia and Europe. A thoroughly interesting and informative book for anyone interested in where some of our beliefs and customs originate.

A compendium of facts, folklore, superstitions, myths, and anecdotes about trees and the forest. Included are descriptions of old forests; forest customs; temples and sacred groves; and mythical forest creatures such as witches, fairies, demons, wood spirits, the “wild huntsman,” and wood nymphs. Early Forestry The Moon's Influence Ancient Foresters, Worship of Trees Transformations into Trees,  Arboreal Tribes Burial on Trees Funereal, Origin of Fire Divination Divining Rod Wands The Man in the Moon The Yule Log.'

"Every season of the year imparts its own peculiar beauty to the forests, in early spring a shimmer of tenderest green spreads over t hem, especially when a forest of beeches is breaking into leaf, as if the wand of an enchanter had been waved over it. These tints gradually deepen with the advent of summer, when in hot noontide hours the tired wanderer may repose in the cool shade, lulled to rest by the hum of insects and the music if rustling leaves. When autumn comes, what an imitable pallet of gorgeous colours is spread out before the eye. When winter holds the land in its icy grasp, even when the forest has a grandeur and a grace all its own, when the branches and twigs glitter in the sunshine with hoarfrost, or gracefully bend under the dazzling weight of snow. 
It has been said that the forest knows all and is able to teach all. there is a French proverb to the effect that the forest always listens, has the secret of every mystery. A Latin proverb of the middle ages says : Aures sunt nemoirs, oculi campestribus oris, and similarly the German; Das Feld hat Augen, der Wald hat Ohren."