July - The Shepherds Calendar

Image: “Summer Parish” by Carry Akroyd*

The weary thresher leaves his barn
And emptys from his shoes the corn

That gatherd in them thro the day
And homward bends his weary way

The gardener he is sprinkling showers
From watering pans on drooping flowers

And set away his hoe and spade
While goody neath the cottage shade

Sits wi a baskett tween her knees
Ready for supper shelling peas

And cobler chatting in the town
Hath put his window shutter down

And the knowing parish clerk
Feign to do his jobs ere dark

Hath timd the church clock to the sun
And wound it up for night and done

And turnd the hugh kee in the door
Chatting his evening story oer

Up the street the servant maid
Runs wi her errands long delayd

And ere the door she enters in
She stops to right a loosend pin

And smooth wi hasty fingers down
The crumpling creases in her gown

Which Rogers oggles rudly made
For may games forfeit never paid

And seizd a kiss against her will
While playing quoits upon the hill

Wi other shepherds laughing nigh
That made her shoy and hurry bye

(lines 621-650)

* Carry Akroyd will be signing her new book “Landscape Change, John Clare and me” at Annakin’s Art Shop in Helpston on the 10th July -- during the John Clare Festival]

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