Soulers of Hallow-e’en – Free Verse – October 31, 2014

“St. Nicholas: An Illustrated Magazine for Young Folks”, Scribner & Company, December 1882, p. 93

Soulers of Hallow-e’en

Today is Hallow-e’en and
As the Veil is rendered thin,
We walk near to them who once lived
– Who walked the Earth as we walk now –
Until the moment when came the call
Irresistible not to heed:
… Come hither, tis time.

Tomorrow is Hallow-mas
– Hallowed be their names –
And so on this eve of their holy day
We come to sing and rhyme for you.
Asking no more than a soul cake,
We’ll pray the Holy Ones –
For those who’ve gone before you –
Yes, prayers for your loved ones souls,
That they may walk in the Spirit’s light!

Soul cakes tis all that we crave …
For our prayers and our hymns
To be recited upon their graves.
We’ll pass these days upon our knees
On Hallowmas and All Souls’ Day –
For the cakes you give to us this night.
We are the soulers of Hallow-e’en.

(c) G.s.k. ’14

A soul cake is a small round cake which is traditionally made for All Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day to commemorate the dead in the Christian tradition. The cakes, often simply referred to as souls, are given out to soulers (mainly consisting of children and the poor) who go from door to door during the days of Allhallowtide singing and saying prayers for the dead. The practice of giving and eating soul cakes continues in some countries today, such as Portugal (where it is known as Pão-por-Deus), and in other countries, it is seen as the origin of the practice of trick-or-treating. In Lancashire and in the North-east of England they were also known as Harcakes.   Wikipedia

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12 thoughts on “Soulers of Hallow-e’en – Free Verse – October 31, 2014

  1. You have busy, cara…love your poem…gives us a sense of the true meaning of Halloween…and your info was interesting. When we were very little, we would say, La Charité SVP…my mother had the idea we were begging…then when I started school I learned it was Trick or Treat…I liked that better.

    Like

    • Not many people remember soul cakes .. except perhaps in Wales, Scotland and maybe Ireland. It’s something I picked up preparing and English lesson for my ESL group.

      Like

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