Saturday, November 07, 2015


The Winds Now Are Cold

Nicholas Breton (1545-1626), "Nouember," Fantasticks (London: Printed for Francis Williams, 1626):
It is now Nouember, and according to the old Prouerbe, Let the Thresher take his flayle, and the ship no more sayle: for the high winds and the rough seas will try the ribs of the Shippe, and the hearts of the Sailers: Now come the Countrey people all wet to the Market, and the toyling Carriers are pittifully moyled: The yong Herne and the Shoulerd are now fat for the great Feast, and the Woodcocke begins to make toward the Cockeshoot: the Warriners now beginne to plie their haruest, and the Butcher, after a good bargaine, drinks a health to the Grasier: the Cooke and the Comfitmaker, make ready for Christmas, and the Minstrels in the Countrey, beat their boyes for false fingring: Schollers before breakefast haue a cold stomacke to their bookes, and a Master without Art is fit for an A.B.C. A red herring and a cup of Sacke, make warre in a weake stomacke, and the poore mans fast, is better then the Gluttons surfet: Trenchers and dishes are now necessary seruants, and a locke to the Cubboord keepes a bit for a neede: Now beginnes the Goshauke to weede the wood of the Phesant, and the Mallard loues not to heare the belles of the Faulcon: The winds now are cold, and the Ayre chill, and the poore die through want of Charitie: Butter and Cheese beginne to rayse their prices, and Kitchen stuffe is a commoditie, that euery man is not acquainted with. In summe, with a conceit of the chilling cold of it, I thus conclude in it: I hold it the discomfort of Nature, and Reasons patience. Farewell.

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