The Shepherds Calendar

Just some of the lines from 'January' that Taylor cut from Clare's poem.  So very much NOT the (published) 1827 text.  What did Taylor have against them?  

I have split into 'verses' of eight lines simply to aid reading on a screen!

While labour still pursues his way

& braves the tempest as he may

The t[h]resher first thro darkness deep

Awakes the mornings winter sleep

Scaring the owlet from her prey

Long before she dreams of day

That bli[n]ks above head on the snow

Watching the mice that squeaks below


& foddering boys sojourn again

By ryhme hung hedge & frozen plain

Shuffling thro the sinking snows
Blowing his fingers as he goes
To where the stock in bellowings hoarse

Call for their meals in dreary close

& print full many a hungry track

Round circling hedge that guards the stack


Wi higgling tug he cuts the hay

& bares the forkfull loads away

& morn & evening daily throws

The little heaps upon the snows

The shepherd too in great coat wrapt

& straw bands round his stockings lapt

Wi plodding dog that sheltering steals
T
o shun the wind behind his heels

Takes rough & smooth the winter weather
& paces thro the snow together
While in the fields the lonly plough
Enjoys its frozen sabbath now
& horses too pass time away
In leisures hungry holiday
Rubbing & lunging round the yard

Dreaming no doubt of summer sward

MP I 3

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