Thursday, August 20, 2015


The Merry Time

Nicholas Breton (1545–1626), "August," Fantasticks (London: Printed for Francis Williams, 1626):
It is now August, and the Sunne is somewhat towards his declination, yet such is his heat as hardeneth the soft clay, dries up the standing ponds, wythereth the sappy leaves, and scorcheth the skin of the naked: now beginne the Gleaners to follow the Corne Cart, and a little bread to a great deal of drinke makes the Travailers dinner: the Melowne and the Cucumber is now in request: and the Oyle and vineger give attendance on the Sallet hearbes: the Alehouse is more frequented then the Taverne, and a fresh River is more comfortable than a fiery Furnace: the Bathe is now much visited by diseased bodies, and in the fayre Rivers, swimming is a sweet exercise: the Bow and the Bowle picke many a purse, and the Cockes with their heeles spurne away many a mans wealth: the Pipe and the Taber is now lustily set on worke, and the Lad and the Lasse will have no lead on their heeles: the new Wheat make the Gossips Cake, and the Bride Cup is carried above the heads of the whole Parish: the Furmenty pot welcomes home the Harvest Cart, and the Garland of flowers crownes the Captaine of the Reapers. Oh, 'tis the merry time, wherein honest Neighbours make good cheere, and God is glorified in his blessings on the earth. In summe, for that I find, I thus conclude, I hold it the worlds welfare, and the earths Warming-pan.

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