A Morning in the Last of Summer

The crowing cock & cackling hen
Are first to wake the morn agen
While goody by the noise awoke
Puts on her hat & rusty cloak
Hastning with alarm & doubt
To search the straw clad yard about
Seeking old hens laid astray
Or scaring kites from chicks away
Her man the while has left his bed
To milk the cow beneath the shed
Or letting hogs from nightly pound
Littering corn & beans around
Their teazing uproar to abate
Murmuring at the cottage gate
Pining for the street again
To steal into the fields of grain
From their prison comes the duck
Waddling eager thro the muck.
Squeezing thro the orchard pales
Were morns bounty rarely fails
Eager gobbling as they pass
Dewworms from the padded grass
The piegons waking in the cote
To the clearing fields resort
Or paddling on the mossy slates
Cooing round their gentle mates
Were the hollyoak so tall
Far oer tops the garden wall
Who latest blooms for bees provide
Hivd on settles close beside
Soon as morn looks brightly in
There awakes the humming din
Chasing many a child from play
& threatning mischief all the day
Where placd by careful friendly hands
On each smooth slab the bottle stands
That now with sweets the dame supplys
To catch the thieving wasps & flyes
From the farm with switching boughs
The maids to pasture drive their cows
Tuning as they step along
Some favourite dance or scrap of song
Which some fond swain their love to share
Brought as a gift from feast or fair
With rakes & forks some leave the farm
& baskets heaving on their arm
Loitering in the dusky lane
To be oertook by following swain
Who glad of chances truth to prove
Carrys the load & talks of love
Boys who in many a crooked way
Marks the wet grass at peep of day
Their rambling horses steps to track
Whose taper whips with jerking crack
Wakes eccho soon to mock the sound
Now home return with horses found
& thro the yards oft crippld gate
Were waggons round their coming wait
They pass & shake their mains & stare
& to the brimming trough repair
Were sulky sleepy boys remain
To swing the clanking pump again
To force the dashing stream to rise
Till thurst has had its wishd supplies
While horses turn their heads away
& rubs the cribs & looks for hay
Soon in the fields the waggons sound
Like distant thunder rumbling round
Loaded home then off again
Till harvest fields are clear of grain
In ceasless toils unknown to rest
Till the sun sinks adown the west
& driving boys in dingy smock
Look oft as passing village clock
Whistling when they see the day
As pointed wearing fast away
Yet oft the sun protending showers
Gleams ruddy at his rising hours
Clouds from the south mountaineous boils
& bring short respite to their toils
Then neath the barleys shielding shock
Or wheat or oaten stouk they flock
& crowding in the sheltering ring
They tell of merry tales & sing
& blest with what the wind has blew
They preach of good the rain will do
& their wet leisure to beguile
Trusting providence the while
For more they drain with laughing eye
Each wicker hooped bottle dry
Till the bright sun drys up the rain
Then cheery seek their toils again
The th[r]esher hears the clocks alarms
& seeks his toil with folded arms
Wistful looking on the sun
As loath its cheering light to shun
Slow soodling down the desert street
He wears agen his barn to meet
& with a sickening weary hand
As loath to do what toils command
The cobweb door is open flung
Were skeletons of rats is hung
He grasps his flail with feeble powers
& lumps away the lagging hours
Beside the pails or garden wall
Were morning sunbeams earliest fall
The basking hens in playful rout
Flaps the powdery dust about
& cats a sabbath hour to keep
Neath the cool eldern sits asleep
While redbreast with its nimble eye
On cottage pales or hovel nigh
Waiting for his morning meal
Ventures from his perch to steal
& pecks the crumbles litterd oer
The smooth trod slab beside the door
Which tender dames on purpose flings
For little birds & creeping things
The dog beside the threshold lyes
& mocks a sleep with half shut eyes
With head crouchd low upon his feet
He stretches in the peaceful street
Till strangers on his peace encroach
& noisey geese or hogs aproach
Then quick he pricks his ears to hark
& bristles up to growl & bark
While boys in fear stop short their song
& sneak on tip toe speed along
& beggar creeping like a snail
To make his hungry hopes prevail
Oer the warm heart of charity
Leaves his lame halt & hastens bye
The parish clerk whose steps are led
At early morn & eve to tread
From sabbath day to sabbath day
Lonly the churchyards dreary way
Keeping the grass path trackd & worn
That else woud soon be over grown
Once more resumes his toils to tell
The morning hour with knowling bell
That breaks the rest of life around
& hums to toil a saddend sound
The morn now oft awakes in mist
When one may walk unseen & list
The singing hind beside his plough
& maiden neath her brinded cow
& almost trample unawares
Upon the nibbling feeding hares
Who stept the road fresh food to find
& scarce escapd the dog behind
When resting cows in quiet spot
Still chewd their cuds & noticd not
& sheep as heedless venturd nigh
& fed unstartld gently bye
When birds perchd were the woodbine weaves
Woud sit while cattle cropt the leaves
& crows scarce lifted wing to flye
Till childern pelted passing bye
The noise as horse or cow did pass
Or snorting as they cropt the grass
So thick the mist tho night was bye
Was heard before they met the eye
But now the sun peeps strongly in
& morns grey mist is wearing thin
& every minute far & near
The once hid objects reappear
Tree & bush & pasture ground
& sheep & oxen grazing round
Now the cottage chimneys pop
On the sight each sutty top
Were the grey smoak curleth proud
Till it seems a dusky cloud
Now the church spire crowns the scene
Peeping cots & trees between
While the towering weather cock
& the figure gilded clock
Dazzles the eye as spangling bright
Mid the clear suns living light
& soon what ere the eyes survey
Glitters in the blaze of day
Lone now is left each cottage hea[r]th
To sleeping cats & crickets mirth
Each humming wheel its sabbath meets
Nor chattering gossips walk the streets
Each bench beneath its eldern bough
Lind oer with grass is empty now
Were blackbirds cagd from out the sun
Wistld while its mistress spun
All seek the clearing fields to share
The years unsparing bounty there
To pick the scattering ears of grain
Or join the bustling harvest train
No more the dirty boys resort
About the streets in idle sport
The butterflye in freedoms hour
Flys unscard from flower to flower
& humming bee which morning calls
From hollow bank or mouldering walls
Free from the schoolboys beating bough
Labour unmolested now
Sparrows in chirping gladness meet
To pick the corn about the street
Nor longer slooming doomd to watch
On neighbouring trees or cottage thatch
In many a hungry hours delay
Till pelting boys are far away
None but imprisond childern now
Are seen were dames with angry brow
Threatens each younker to his seat
That oer the threshold eyes the street
Or from his horn book turns away
To mourn for liberty & play.
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