tempus fugit

By ceridwen

The Country People's Felicity

Or, a Brief Description of Pleasure
shewing the ready way of sweet content by them that ply their work with merriment. They eat, they drink, they work and sport at pleasure, they pipe and dance when time and place give leisure.

Down in a meadow, the river running clear
All in the month of July, the prime of the year,
Where many a pretty little fish within the brook did play
And many a lad and many a lass abroad were making hay.

In came the scythesmen to mow the meadow down,
With their bags and bottles and ale that was so brown
The labouring men with courage bold each other did reply
“Let's work and blow and swiftly mow, the grass cuts very dry.”

Then nimble Tib and Thomas with pitchfork and with rake
Came in the merry meadow green the haycocks to make,
Where each one plied their labour and did no whit repine
The gentle wind blew fair and cool, the sun did clearly shine.

Now when those lads and lasses were all together that day
In that same gallant meadow, a-making of the hay,
They plied their work so closely and laboured so complete
Until the pretty maidens' brows did drop apace with sweat.

At last when bright Phoebus, the sun, was going down,
A merry disposed piper approached from the town,
And with his pipe and tabor he did so trimly play
So that they all laid down their tools and laid off making hay.

(You can also hear a sung version of this 17th century ballad here.)

However, I'm not sure that the solitary labourer in my picture had quite so much fun.

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