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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE FARMER'S ROUND, by                    
First Line: First comes january
Last Line: A prosperous new year
Subject(s): Farm Life; Agriculture;farmers

FIRST comes January,
The sun lies very low:
I see in the farmer's yard
The cattle feed on stro';
The weather being so cold,
The snow lies on the ground.
There will be another change of moon
Before the year comes round.

Next is February,
So early in the spring:
The farmer ploughs the fallows,
The rooks their nests begin.
The little lambs appearing
Now frisk in pretty play;
I think upon the increase,
And thank my God, to-day.

March it is the next month,
So cold and hard and dear:
Prepare we now for harvest,
By brewing of strong beer.
God grant that we who labour
May see the reaping come,
And drink and dance and welcome
The happy Harvest Home.

Next of months is April,
When early in the morn
The cheery farmer soweth
To right and left the corn.
The gallant team come after,
A-smoothing of the land.
May Heaven the farmer prosper
Whate'er he takes in hand.

In May I go a-walking
To hear the linnets sing,
The blackbird and the throstle
A-praising God the King.
It cheers the heart to hear them,
To see the leaves unfold,
The meadows scattered over
With buttercups of gold.

Full early in the morning
Awakes the summer sun,
The month of June arriving,
The cold and night are done.
The Cuckoo is a fine bird,
She whistles as she flies,
And as she whistles "Cuckoo"
The bluer grow the skies.

Six months I now have named,
The seventh is July.
Come, lads and lasses, gather
The scented hay to dry,
All full of mirth and gladness
To turn it in the sun,
And never cease till daylight sets,
And all the work is done.

August brings the harvest:
The reapers now advance,
Against their shining sickles
The field stands little chance.
"Well done!" exclaims the farmer,
"This day is all men's friend,
We'll drink and feast in plenty
When we the harvest end."

By middle of September,
The rake is laid aside,
The horses wear the breeching,
Rich dressing to provide;
All things to do in season,
Methinks is just and right.
Now summer season's over,
The frosts begin at night.

October leads in winter,
The leaves begin to fall,
The trees will soon be naked,
No flowers left at all
The frosts will bite them sharply,
The elm alone is green;
In orchard piles of apples red
For cider press are seen.

The eleventh month, November,
The nights are cold and long,
By day we're felling timber,
And spend the night in song.
In cozy chimney corner
We take our toast and ale,
And kiss and tease the maidens,
Or tell a merry tale.

Then comes dark December.
The last of months in turn:
With holly, box, and laurel
We house and church adorn.
So now, to end my story,
I wish you all good cheer,
A merry, happy Christmas,
A prosperous New Year.

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