These hardwoods burn well and slowly,
Ash, beech, hawthorn oak and holly.
Softwoods flare up quick and fine,
Birch, fir, hazel, larch and pine.
Elm and willow you’ll regret,
Chestnut green and sycamore wet.
Beechwood fires are bright and clear,
If the logs are kept a year.
Chestnut’s only good, they say,
If for long ’tis laid away.
But Ash new or Ash old,
Is fit for a queen with crown of gold.
Birch and fir logs bum too fast,
Blaze up bright and do not last.
It is by the Irish said,
Hawthorn bakes the sweetest bread.
Elm wood burns like churchyard mould,
E’en the very flames are cold.
But Ash green or Ash brown,
Is fit for a queen with golden crown.
Poplar gives a bitter smoke,
Fills your eyes and makes you choke.
Apple wood will scent your room,
With an incense like perfume.
Oaken logs if dry and old,
Keep away the winter’s cold.
But Ash wet or Ash dry,
A king shall warm his slippers by.
Oak logs will warm you well,
That are old and dry.
Logs of pine will sweetly smell,
But the sparks will fly.
Birch logs will burn too fast,
Chestnut scarce at all sir.
Hawthorn logs are good to last,
That are cut well in the fall sir.
Holly logs will burn like wax,
You could burn them green.
Elm logs burn like smouldering flax,
With no flame to be seen.
Beech logs for winter time,
Yew logs as well sir.
Green elder logs it is a crime,
For any man to sell sir.
Pear logs and apple logs,
They will scent your room.
And cherry logs across the dogs,
They smell like flowers of broom.
But Ash logs smooth and grey, B
uy them green or old, sir.
And buy up all that come your way,
They’re worth their weight in gold sir.
Logs to Burn, Logs to burn, Logs to burn,
Logs to save the coal a turn.
Here’s a word to make you wise,
When you hear the woodman’s cries.
Never heed his usual tale,
That he has good logs for sale.
But read these lines and really learn,
The proper kind of logs to burn.
by Lady Celia Congreve
Published in the Times: March 2nd 1930
(Photo by Marc Dumanois)