from "The Shepherd's Calendar - May"

Each morning now the weeders meet
To cut the thistle from the wheat
And ruin in the sunny hours
Full many wild weeds of their flowers
Corn poppys that in crimson dwell
Calld ‘head achs’ from their sickly smell
And carlock yellow as the sun
That oer the may fields thickly run

And ‘iron weed’ content to share
The meanest spot that spring can spare
Een roads where danger hourly comes
Is not wi out its purple blooms
And leaves wi pricks like thistles round
Thick set that have no strength to wound
That shrink to childhoods eager hold
Like hair—and with its eye of gold

And scarlet starry points of flowers
Pimpernel dreading nights and showers
Oft calld ‘the shepherds weather glass’
That sleep till suns have dryd the grass
Then wakes and spreads its creeping bloom
Till clouds or threatning shadows come
Then close it shuts to sleep again
Which weeders see and talk of rain

And boys that mark them shut so soon
Will call them ‘John go bed at noon’
And fumitory too a name
That superstition holds to fame
Whose red and purple mottld flowers
Are cropt by maids in weeding hours
To boil in water milk and whey
For washes on an holiday

To make their beauty fair and sleak
And scour the tan from summers cheek
And simple small forget me not
Eyd wi a pinshead yellow spot
Ith middle of its tender blue
That gains from poets notice due
These flowers their toil by crowds destroys
And robs them of their lonly joys

That met the may wi hopes as sweet
As those her suns in gardens meet
And oft the dame will feel inclind
As childhoods memory comes to mind
To turn her hook away and spare
The blooms it lovd to gather there
My wild field catalogue of flowers
Grows in my ryhmes as thick as showers

The Shepherd's Calendar, with Village Stories, and Other Poems (1827) - 'May' (lines 147 to 194)


Anonymous said...


Roger R... said...

Thanks Mike... very much worth viewing.